Attracted to Light

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9781576871898: Attracted to Light

Perhaps Nabokov prefigured Attracted to Light in his fictional four-volume set called The Butterflies and Moths of the Russian Empire in Father’s Butterflies: “The illustrations are still more perfect—the downy, velvety texture, the blurry translucence of various families of moths are rendered so delicately you would be afraid to run your finger across the paper....”

A sumptuously oversized and exquisitely produced book, Attracted to Light showcases the Starns’ extensive conceptual portrait series of the nocturnal moths’ mysterious journey and the seeming gravitational force that light has over them, “captured” in photographs and filmic video footage.

“Light necessitates darkness, the shadow created by anything physical. But black is not only the lack of light—it is also the complete absorption of light. The void and reservoir of what we want, what we need; light is power, it is knowledge. When we look into the deep, velvety black eyes of moths we see both emptiness and (the absorption of) light. No one understands why moths are attracted to light. It's neither to mate nor to eat: many moths don’t eat at all; some don't even have mouths. Like butterflies, moths are almost as light as air, but they’re the poor stupid cousins. Choosing to live their lives at night, flying from nowhere towards the end of their lives—fragile, dusty wings in tatters. A moth will bounce across a ceiling, orbit a lamp, fly into a flame, or self-immolate like a Buddhist monk.”
—Doug and Mike Starn

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About the Author:

Doug and Mike Starn, identical twins born in 1961, achieved recognition as part of a group of artists in the 1980s making conceptual use of photography. Working collaboratively in the territory between photography, video, installation, sculpture, and painting, the Starns have had numerous solo exhibitions in galleries and museums internationally, with further retrospectives in Japan, Europe, and Australia. The recipients of numerous awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Grants (1987 and 1995), The International Center for Photography Infinity Award for Fine Art Photography, and the Eastman Kodak Fine Art Photography Award, the Starns' works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; and The Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan; among many others. The Starns live and work in New York City.

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Doug Starn, Mike Starn, A Blind Spot Boo
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