Philip Emde‘s collection of used stuffed animals, which have already experienced the most diverse emotional states of their previous owners, reveals a deeper insight into the human psyche.
With his concept of simulacra, Jean Baudrillard posits that modern society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs: human experience is a simulation of reality.
An example of placeholders created by our society are the stuffed animals.
The artist is aware that their owners bring them to life by projecting their own stories.
Philip Emde can be placed in the lineage of artists such as Mike Kelley, who reveals the ‘uncanny’ with mock figures and toy animals. Works like 1987’s More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin come to mind.
From childhood to adulthood, the stuffed animals accompany their owners even in challenging times.
Emde’s work humorously deals with the ambiguity of life and finds its own place in contemporary art.