Photographer Makes Memorial Shrines for Roadkill

February 21, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

Kansas-based photographer Emma Kisiel, who focuses on “ways in which we as humans experience and interact with animals,” has been making images of roadkill, specifically roadkill memorialized by the photographer herself for a series called At Rest. She pairs the drab sight of rodent death with brightly colored flower petals, etc. Why?

My images draw attention to the fact that, while man has a vast impact on animal and natural life, it is commonly insisted that animals as sentient beings have little value in our society. To cause the viewer to feel struck by the significance of animals, I photograph memorials I have built surrounding roadkill at the location at which its life was lost. At Rest expresses the sacredness [of] the bodies of animals.

The bizarre contrast of human ritual and accidental animal carnage is strangely compelling, in a “sharp images of a fuzzy concept” sort of way.