Rangifer – Polyphemus – Polypore, Emily Jan (Montreal, QC). 
April 2017. Installation view. Faux-fur, collection paper, wood, moss, rust pigment, found objects.

When Jan arrived at Elsewhere, she was struck by what she saw as a lack of taxidermy. Feeling this to be a distinctly missing component of a thrift-shop-turned-musueum, Jan created a hyper-realistic, sculptural caribou head mount entirely fabricated out of collection materials. Bringing life to faux-fur, fabric, handmade paper and rust-based pigment (made by fellow residents Dana Robinson and Franky Cruz), Jan’s piece recreates forms of the Rangifer Tarandus Caribou, Polypore Mushroom and Polyphemus Moths.

Looking at the work, one can imagine swarms of wildlife gathering within the museum—stopping over to rest, mid-migration. These beings, too, evoke the boreal and taiga of Canada, bridging the artist’s home in the North with the museum setting of the American South. Placed within immediate view of the museum’s entrance, the piece boldy greets a curious public, reflecting traditions of taxidermy through playful assembly of materials.


Polyphemus Moths: