165 x 225 mm
Covering a span of four years, SNAKEFIRE presents a portrait of the Malay/Indonesian night and is the second instalment of an existential trilogy on night time, night life and night space – three essential elements that exist both in grudging harmony and brutal confrontation.
‘During my time in south-east Asia, notably in Penang, while snakes crawled about at the Snake Temple, the world’s largest recorded python slithered out of its tropical jungle home one day into a construction site nearby, in obvious physical pain. Amidst unwarranted media frenzy and hysteria, it died in the arms of humans three days later while giving birth to an offspring. In neighbouring Indonesia, mistaken for a wall hanging perched above me, a giant snake’s head moth flew away when a lizard challenged it while the world’s largest mud volcano exploded into being, threatening all land and life around it. Locals believe that a giant spirit snake dwells deep within this possibly man-made volcanic eruption.
Snakefire is dedicated to this paradise that has been lost to unmediated human greed, a greed which has lost all sense of balance and harmony in its relentless march towards evermore consumption and evermore appropriation from Mother Nature.’
– Arko Datto
About the Artist
Arko Datto (b. 1986, India) is a Kolkata-based artist, curator, and educator. Before stepping into the world of contemporary photography, he was on course to receive a doctorate in theoretical science. His artistic practice interrogates what it means to be a photographer in the digital age while simultaneously playing the observer and commentator’s role on critical issues. His work has been exhibited globally at venues including the Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt, Galleri Image, Unseen Amsterdam, and Photo London, among others. His photographs have been featured in publications including Foam Magazine, American SuburbX, National Geographic, WIRED, and Financial Times. Datto has been an artist in residence at programs including Light Work in Syracuse; the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France; Docking Station in Amsterdam; and Rimbun Dahan in Penang, Malaysia.
He has received grants from the Prince Claus Fund, Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and from the IDFA Bertha Fund. Recent exhibitions include Will my Mannequin be Home When I Return at Imago Lisboa (Lisbon), and Pik-Nik at Gallerie Image (Aarhus).
About the Publisher
L’Artiere Edizioni is a young publishing house specialised in photography books characterised by the high quality of its products. The publishing house was founded in 2013 from an idea by Gianluca and Gianmarco Gamberini.