Edition of 3
Dimensions: 120cm (H) x 120cm (W) x 4cm (D) / 47.2" (H) x 47.2" (W) x 1.6" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Mimicry/Mimesis is a adaptive imitation strategy involving various morphological, physiological, ecological and ethological
aspects. Mimesis is a complex co-evolutionary mechanism involving three species: the model, the imitator and the dupe.
Eat or be eaten! This fundamental law of nature has seen animals develop a diverse range of survival techniques during the course of their evolution, one of which is mimesis.
For specialists, the term mimicry has a narrow definition that is limited to a resemblance of two zoologically distant organisms, which sees one (the mimic) imitate the other (the model). However, the term can also cover all types of camouflage used by species to ensure concealment from predators and avoid being seen by humans too.
Homochromy, homotypy, camouflage and mimicry in the strict sense of the term are the four fundamental mechanisms used by organisms for concealment. Mimicry is a strategy involving various morphological, physiological, ecological and ethological aspects.
Mimicry is a strategy involving various morphological, physiological, ecological and ethological aspects.
Whilst mimicry does give animals an advantage, be they prey or predators, the majority of mechanisms are used by potential prey. In this case, they are referred to as anti-predator adaptations. Indeed, animal species are always threatened by one or more predators. These predators track down their prey using senses such as sight, hearing and smell, which vary from one animal to another. Some are also able to use color and shape for concealment.
When under attack, the victim reacts by using various adaptations, particularly venom, foul smells, escape or concealment. A fragile balance can be found in this struggle for life and concealment or camouflage are only one of the means by which animals ensure survival.
When talking about camouflage or mimicry in relation to animals, it should be understood that animals do not make a conscious effort or use rationale like humans can. It is a matter of adaptation, the reasons for which are not known.
There are two main classifications which oppose different schools of thought:
- the first focuses on the difference between advertising coloration (semantic colors) and disruptive coloration (irregular color patterns). This category includes all types of mimicry, be it cryptic or aposematic. Such a classification only deals with the coloration aspect of mimicry. It is difficult to include ethological information.
- the second distinguishes types of mimicry according to their usefulness in the ecosystem as regards camouflage or exhibitionism. It is more adaptable to mimetic behavior as it factors in coloration, the end result and the way in which it is obtained. It divides cases of mimicry into two categories: mimesis and actual mimicry.
Transformations are rooted in evolutionary changes which are subject to natural selection. The mechanism for such transformations is random and independent of the adaptive needs of the species in question.
Extract from Professor Gillon’s lecture.
As Featured In
Animals in Art
57 Artists, 85 Products
Last Updated Sep 22, 2021
Based in: Paris
Both natural and sophisticated, Seb Janiak’s photography is constantly on the verge of emotion. He achieves this by the use of forms and codes which need to be relearned. This may seem like a feat but it is, above all, a strange dialogue. We experience, in different degrees, feelings of opening and constriction which are close to pure sensation. And if, as the photographer states, "matter is just an illusion," then his images, in counterpoint, are an illusion of matter; but matter from which the creative artist has nevertheless removed a small corner of the veil. The risk of stagnancy is counteracted by a break-away with no possible return, underscored by the artist’s approach and by the forced flight of photography from its chrysalis. The beholder finds himself caught in a sudden beam of light, like a shell which has been opened by the jubilant skill of the artist who tracks down the "figure" to the ultimate frontiers of the unseen. The photography flourishes in all its fullness through this return upstream. The flat surface commutes into such depth that it appears as an invention. It was only after he had begun the series "Kingdom et Photon" that this approach, focusing on the Unseen, fully penetrated the mind of the artist. Below the chaosmic appearance is to be found a singular art drawn from the very roots of matter and chemistry. The finished work exceeds all archaeological treatises and molecular microphotography. It brings forth the true fullness of what is invisible. It attests to new demands never separated from forgotten fundamentals. In the action of photographing and in the immediacy of the present moment, Seb Janiak sets off a presaging tremor whereby life seems to assume some kind of absolute quality. Our artist may well claim contritely that: "My work simply uses the manifestation of invisible forces - photography is incapable of seeing what is invisible in the way that physicists can"; in his "Photon" series, the prints set off signals from the very depths of both the microcosmic and, paradoxically, the astronomical realms. Everything comes back together: life and death, the real and the imaginary, the past and the future, the top and the bottom, the communicable and the incommunicable.
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