I featured the work of Neal Rantoul when he was exhibiting at the Panoptican Gallery in Boston last year, and currently he has another series on exhibition in the Boston area at The Griffin Museum Gallery at Digital Silver Imaging. The exhibition, Collections: Anatomical Specimens of the 19th Century, is showing through March 18th.
As a young museum goer, my favorite exhibitions were those that held odd collections--the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington DC was a favorite, where I spent hours looking at body parts and oddities of nature held in formaldehyde filled jars. Neal's images bring me back to those wonders of man and nature gone amiss, his images capturing unlikely subjects, garnered from the Mutter Museum in Philadelpia and the Lazzarro Spallanzani collection in Regio Emilia, Italy. He takes the bizarre and the unfortunate and finds an ephemeral beauty that moves beyond curiosity.
"The subjects photographed at both sites "are forensic evidence of the alterations within the genetic soup of living and the science that studies it, providing us with the terrible wonders that are interspersed with our own acceptable ordinariness. To receive the information of these photographs is to receive something of ourselves."
Images from Collections: Anatomical Specimens of the 19th Century