On video sharing sites, there are plenty of films documenting cameras being dropped, discarded, or deliberately left by their owners near animals, and those animals stealing and running away with the cameras. The increasing miniaturisation of camera technology makes GoPro cameras an especially popular delicacy.
Henner was drawn to two aspects of this phenomenon; The first being the loss of control by a human operator over the technical and compositional modes of image-making. And secondly, the perspective we are given of what it would be like to be in the jaws of a beast.
Scopes consists of five continuously looped films showing animals eating, ingesting, and excreting cameras in an endless cycle of consumption and expulsion.
Usually, how we see nature and animals is entirely constructed by us. Here, the rules of representation are reversed. In an allegorical sense, we are at the mercy of nature and the animal kingdom. A refreshing and quite shocking counterpoint to the prevailing idea that our species reigns supreme.
Mishka Henner (Belgium, 1976) is a visual artist living in the UK. His varied practice navigates through the digital terrain to focus on key subjects of cultural and geo-political interest. He often produces books, films, photographic, and sculptural works that reflect on cultural and industrial infrastructures in a process involving extensive documentary research combined with the meticulous reconstruction of imagery from materials sourced online. His work has featured in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Centre Pompidou Metz, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, FOAM Amsterdam, and Turner Contemporary, Margate. He was awarded the Infinity Award for Art by the International Center of Photography in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in the same year. In 2014, he was on the shortlist for the Prix Pictet.