The mosquito — humans are capable of squashing them with ease, yet this animal is the deadliest on Earth to our species. This pest is the central narrator in Plague Deconstructed, a new video installation by Puck Verkade, where the animated buzzing blood-sucker fantasises about their desire for human extermination.
This episode – created through a mix of stop motion animation, digital manipulation, papier-mâché costumes and straight to camera performance – unfolds across DKUK as a deconstructed installation. The video is presented as a fragmented narrative, popping up in various spots of the interior, just as pesky mosquitoes do when they find their way into our domestic spaces.
The episodes of Plague imagine eerie parallels between ecological and mental breakdown. Tracing connections between tormented psyches, the domestic home and the exploited earth, Plague shows these environments as interconnected habitats, where culture and nature are often unjustly pitched against each other. Taking a holistic approach, the episode shows how we inhabit our own bodies as well as that of the Earth, which needs at least as much attention in this age of climate crisis. By shifting the focus Plague suggests that perhaps it is us humans that are the true pest on this planet.
Puck Verkade uses humour and absurdity to question the contradicting complexities that form part of human behaviour, gendered biases and social structures. Plague (ep. 1), centred around a housefly, was presented as part of the Zabludowicz Collection Invites series between 12 September–20 October 2019.