Extravagant fashion: art with dead animals: indignation and admiration

Sensitive souls can enter by entering of the former Oertzenhof station hall a little shock. Then someone bares his teeth. And a snake crawls out of the fox’s mouth. But don’t worry, this braided shape on a pedestal is made up of stuffed animals.

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Winged pig and animal skeletons

The Oertzenhof station building, still an important hub between Szczecin and western Mecklenburg, resembles a laboratory in its belly. Animal skeletons swim in formalin-filled display cases, and the attentive viewer can form words whose letters form preparations. The drawers labeled indicate morbid contents: art and bones. A winged pig hovers on the ceiling of the room. A sculpture of a crouching child looks out the window onto the tracks, the back of his head is a former circus pony. Welcome to the studio of the creator of such bizarre creatures, artist Iris Schieferstein.

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The woman in her fifties is usually found in overalls. She is a real bundle of energy. In just two years, since the former Berliner bought the station building near Neubrandenburg, he has extensively refurbished the only 900 square meters listed: emptied garbage, sanded floors, windows and doors, restored stoves and decorated all three. existing apartments for his two young children and was formed. You can discover colored and transparent walls that still show the typical graffiti of railway stations, few but precious furniture, photographs and paintings of artist friends and our photographic collages, which thematize femininity and emancipate being a woman. And yes, even a chandelier made of small predators carrying light bulbs with their mouths open … A huge mural features all of her friends confidently set up for some kind of dinner. “I live in the picture,” she explains.

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Is it art or perverse?

Iris Schieferstein grew up in the art and documentary city of Kassel and after reunification she studied sculpture at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee. She is also a taxidermist. Iris Schieferstein has made high-heeled stiletto heels made from cow and horse hooves with revolver heels, and they are also requested by Lady Gaga and New York-based performance artist Marina Abramovic. But some find it abnormal to do such extravagant art and fashion with dead animals.

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PETA protests and troubles with the authorities

In Berlin, for example, Iris Schieferstein had the outraged animal protection organization PETA outside her door and a series of agency documents in her mailbox because she had picked up dead animals on the roadside and treated them. But you can’t just take hedgehogs and squirrels with you that got run over in Germany. This violates the protection of the species. “I love animals”, the artist confesses. “Hardly anyone cares about conservation when they’re alive, but when they’re dead they do. Is absurd!” says the little brunette. Of course, Iris Schieferstein has four-legged companions. Little Burmese cat Aikiri sleeps, his amber eyes narrowed, curled up in the kitchen window, and little Katharina is just born.

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The charm of decadence

The following applies to taxidermy: you can take anything you can eat, shoot, breed and keep. “Sometimes people would call me and say things like, ‘My snake is dead. Do you want them?’ I was also often offered cats and dogs. Occasionally I get clogs, skins and everything left over from the butcher. ”Many, however, find Iris Schieferstein’s extravagant creations extremely innovative and aesthetic. They inspire exhibitions in London, Barcelona, New York and Berlin Fashion Week.

Iris Schieferstein wants animals to speak through people. “For this I use symbols that unite and sometimes divide cultures. A cow, for example, has a completely different status in India than in Germany. I am also fascinated by the decay process. The way in which the viewer interprets my work therefore depends entirely on him / her himself ”. You have no sympathy for the hostilities of animal rights activists. “Do not abuse live animals!” She also says that many of her critics of her are shortsighted and unsustainable. “They also wear leather shoes and eat animals. Plus, real furs last a lifetime, as consumers buy new plastic jackets every winter. How much is wasted on this! “

So now MeckPomm. At first he cannot prepare, the station project consumes a lot of energy. But Iris Schieferstein is no stranger to the East. As a child, she went on vacation to Scharmutzelsee in East Berlin and her mother was a member of the Young Socialists. The decisive factor for the purchase of a train station in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was the remoteness on the one hand and the connection to the world on the other, because the trains still stop there.

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