From 2009 to 2013, Swiss photographer Yann Mingard (*1973) documented this avid pursuit of collection and storage in images that raise many of the unasked but pressing questions of our time. Do propagation technologies transform the human prosthetic God into a veritable demiurge? What is the significance of a diversity of plant and animal species that exist only as rare individual specimens in laboratories, zoos and botanical seedbanks? Will the age-old fantasy of eternal life one day become a real biological and medical possibility? Yann Mingard pictures this dizzying array of issues in strikingly dark photographs in which medical instruments, data servers, human, animal and plant samples, the interiors and (very rarely) exteriors of laboratories and archives can often be discerned only on closer inspection. In the four chapters ”Plants”, ”Animals”, ”Humans” and ”Data”, Mingards photographs accentuate a dark side to the scientific progress by which humankind has continued to tame and harness the forces of nature and subjugate them to our own analyses and power structures. Deposit asks us to confront and ponder these realities.
All images © courtesy of Yann Mingard