In 2017 I passed a Hilton hotel in the window I saw a glass dome underneath there was something extraordinarily beautiful as well as something completely distasteful at the same time. It was a display with eight to ten of the most beautiful blue butterflies glistening in the afternoon sun, their blue reflective wings luminescent. Soon after, this butterfly appeared everywhere from taxidermy shops to design shops, neatly framed or perched on a stick as to mimic their “natural environment”. I started a research into the trade and commodification of the Morpho butterfly and realized that the death of these butterflies is just a snippet of an entire trading system of many species of (endangered) butterflies and the justification of their death towards customers is based on a web of lies.
This exhibition, Rijksopen 2019, highlights several facets of this trade.
These sculptures made from fragile porcelain and reflective luminescent crystal glaze represent the first moments of realization of the commodification of a beautiful species and the commodification of their death for internal home decoration.