Nature is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for Eric Poitevin. When the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature was reopened in 2007, he exhibited a series of shots highlighting dead animals at Belval, the Fondation François Sommer’s property in the Ardennes. The Dead stag slots into this strange bestiary. Positioned in a bedroom after having been killed during a regulation hunt, its massive body is presented at a dramatic angle. Eric Poitevin’s shot captures the moment between the animal dying and being stuffed. For the artist, “the blood flows, as you would expect, and the heads are only cut to facilitate the work of the taxidermist…” This monumental photograph falls into the tradition of dead nature and constitutes a tribute to the hunted animal. The representation of the animal’s carcass for artistic purposes is subject to controversy. From 17th century paintings to contemporary installations, this great iconographic topic is accompanied by a certain unease. Eric Poitevin’s prints shatter a taboo and offer reflection marked with emotion on the place of death within the activity of hunting.
Dead stag - Eric POITEVIN (born in 1961) - France, 2006 - Colour print, 22.5 x 27cm - Inv. 007 48