Sandra J. Raredon and Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish
Containing over 40 stunning X-Rays from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Collection of Fishes, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish offers a penetrating look at the anatomies of a vast array of aquatic specimens. Commissioned to accompany the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit titled “X-Ray: Fish Inside Out”, the sleek catalogue features impeccably detailed images by Sandra J. Raredon, who for 25 years has worked at the Institution as a museum specialist. Raredon’s radiographs permit us to view the delicate “architecture” of these saltwater vertebrates while keeping the specimen intact, information which has proven invaluable for the ichthyologist and down-right mesmerizing for everybody else.
A whip-like tail, a puffed belly or a spindly beak emerges from the dense thicket of tiny bones and cartilage around the jaw, gut and eyes. The ghostly quality of the X-Ray is amplified by the enigma we often associate with the animals of the deep. The fish seem to float in emptiness, bones soaked with pilfered light, glowing through the murky deep. Their fragility is contrasted by the evidence of sharp teeth and cruel barbs. By treating her scientific recordings in an imaginative and thoughtful way, Raredon’s specimens retain their enigmatic auras despite having been turned “inside out”.
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