Work / Writing

Martin d’Orgeval: Touched by Fire

Having read about Martin d’Orgeval’s beautiful Touched by Fire series in the latest edition of the excellent literary paper Drawbridge, I was thrilled to hear the paper were also putting on a physical show of the photographs. Documenting a fire that devastated the world famous Deyrolle museum in Paris, the photos capture the destruction of a once healthy collection of taxidermy and entomology. The article is fascinating, and the photos spell-binding.

Hi guys, this is some pretty dark bit of subject matter for a show, how did you come across the story?

Bigna: You find it dark? Somewhere Martin explains that “what man and science had taken from the natural cycle of life and death and fixed forever for our wide-eyed pleasure was partially brought back to its original destiny: the fading and disappearance that awaits any creature. Time had been made to stand still, and nature had reclaimed its rights.” I don’t think that’s dark, it’s very reassuring. We found the images whilst compiling a Drawbridge issue on Silence. Also reassuring. Just a pause.
Laura: Perhaps the taxidermy process is a little dark.

What do you think your readers find so fascinating about charred taxidermy?

B: It’s tricky to guess what someone else finds fascinating. But these images invite a thought or two and are very beautiful to look at.

You’ve already published a piece on the story, what worth do you think there is in a follow up exhibition?

B: Strawberry tart and strawberry ice cream. The pictures will be bigger, on the walls and we can stand in a room together, if you like.

Do you know much about the rest of Martin d’Orgeval’s work?

B: Yes it is marvellous! So much attention.
L: Martin’s work is a delight, he also will be exhibiting new work in Paris, a show titled, “Establishment Forever”.

Forgive the interview cliche, but it seems apt this time round – if you had to save one of your own possessions from a burning building, what would it be?

B: My computer.
L: Drawings, mine and others.

Touched by Fire, by Martin d’Orgeval
67 Dean Street
London W1
9 – 30 November