An adaptative imitation strategy involving three species : 
The Model, The Imitator and The Dupe...

Seb Janiak, Mimesis,  2012 – 2014

“Mimesis” (Mimesis is a Greek word meaning imitation)
Mimesis is an adaptive imitation strategy.
There is a major difference between mimesis and camouflage in terms of evolution: camouflage capability, involving colour in particular, can appear and develop very quickly in a species through the interplay of mutations and selection, but mimesis by contrast is a complex co-evolutionary mechanism involving three species: the model, the imitator and the dupe.

But what is the most important is Mimesis involved memory and informations. As said Ruppert Sheldrake : "hypothesis of morphic fields and morphic resonance, which leads to a vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory. ». A flower which adapt her appearance involve a connection to this morphic fields. This morphic field involve also a universe of information (Christianisme and Buddhism talk about a spiritual universe), outside time and space which feed our matter universe of informations… 

People who prefer matter and believe in a materialistic point of view will see beauty of the Mimesis flowers, others who believe matter is just an illusion will feel it differently. If you don’t believe in soul, or God or if you believe it all started from matter , you will see beautifull flower and a nice art piece. If you are spiritual and believe the invisible world is bigger than our visible world, mean if you believe there is something behind the matter's veils, you will interpret the photo differently. I strongly believe matter came from spirit-conscience and not the opposite as most of the scientist want to believe. 

Using art to reveal what is behind the veil of the matter is fascinating and full of discoveries. 

The Mimesis series was shown for the first time at the Photo Shanghai art fair last 15 of september 2015. 
The series also won the IPA Lucy award 2015, third prize in fine art.

Technical note: This serie has been created without any special effects or retouching, but using techniques of analog photography, namely superimposition and photomontage.


Your age, where you live
Mid 40, I am based in Paris

Can you please explain the technique you use?
I was one of the digital pioneers in the mid 80, using digital camera and digital tools from video for the purpose of photography. 

Since 2008, I had set new parameters on my research by restricting myself to the techniques of analog photography, namely double exposure, superimposition and photomontage inspired by primitive of photography as Henry Peach Robinson, Edouard Baldus, Oscar Gustave Rejlanderen or Legray. (Between 1850 and 1870, a dozen english and french photographers exploring the creative possibilities of photography has to offer. This first generation of photographers wants to prove that the photo is just like painting at that time, an art form in itself. 

Before i start a new art work, I always sketch or draw my idea on paper. So I just use a digital cutting tools to cut the element (insects wings) I’ve choose. Because of the high resolution of the original file element ( 250 Mo each element), it take time… after that it is a matter of composition and inspiration. My master file at the end of the composition work is about 6 to 10 Gigaoctet, also because my original format is about 71 inch.

Where do you photograph?
In my photographic atelier in Paris. 

How long – both shooting and editing – does each work take to create?
This serie use live shot and photo-montage, with no retouching at all.
Months to find and collect the insects at some taxidermist collectors or shop. Few weeks to choose and make an editing and to do the cutting of each wings or insect parts. I do all the work myself. And 2/3 more weeks to create and adjust the compositions. 

How many have you created so far?
I’ve made 22 pieces between 2012/2014.