Catalan artists Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera purport to have uncovered the archives of the brilliant, if obscure, German zoologist, Dr. Peter Ameisenhaufen. Between 1933 and 1950, Dr. Ameisenhaufen devoted himself to the study of little known hybrid creatures. His detailed scientific field observations are supported by extensive documentation, including photographs, journal notes, drawings, x-rays, audiotapes, and artifacts, all of which leave little doubt about the significance of the evidence presented.
In argument to Darwin’s theories we see Micostrium Vulgaris, a swamp dwelling, clam-like creature with protruding seemingly human arms. It uses its opposing grip to wield sticks by which it clubs its prey to death. The Cercopithecus lcarocornu, or winged unicorn monkey, attacks in air and spears its prey on its horn. The Solenoglypha Polipodida makes evident a u-turn in evolution between the bird and the reptile--this snake-like creature supports six pair of webbed duck-like feet.
This collaboration between Fontcuberta, who made the photographs and Formiguera, who was responsible for the pseudo-scientific note cards, drawings, maps, audiotapes, and specimens, is a photo-conceptual narrative work, convincing in every detail. Fauna directly questions issues of authenticity, appropriation and simulation but implies broader concerns of historicity, revisionism, and the notion of scientific objectivity. Dr. Ameisenhaufen’s heritage and supposed era impugns Hilter’s theories of racial purity and also those tenets of the modern church and others who still refuse to acknowledge Darwin.