Still life or still death
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
This quotation is attributed to Albert Einstein, but searching more in detail you will start to doubt the correctness of this attribution.
Whether it was Einstein who really stated this or not, one thing is clear: bees are a fundamental element of balance in nature and for many years now, bees have been dying in increasing numbers, with the media barely mentioning it. According to scientists the trend of bees dying is alarmingly on the rise.
With the title “Still life or still death?” the artist is trying to direct the public’s attention to this imminent catastrophe and move people to a serious reflection.
Thereby a dead bee* is integrated into the artistic work of the classical subject “still life” thus referring to the provocative question “Still life or still death?”
The same way as people in ancient cultures used to eternalise their bodies after death, Plattner is creating an artistic sepulchre for the bee and therefore making it immortal.
* Apiculturists, who the artist is in contact with, have supplied the dead bees.