Heide Hatry’s flowers triumphantly confuse categories, calling both artificiality and reality into question, as art should do. ...The process exposes our culture’s selfish disrespect for anything we can exploit, and to hell with the long term consequences.
Lucy Lippard (writer, curator, activist)
Hatry's work, though it traffics in parts of non-human animals who were unjustly slain, and though it therefore partakes in the slaughter, has the decency to be beautiful, and to memorialize the slaughter through recontextualization... But beauty is one kind of dignity, for the lost, and it gives us a chance to remember them. Hatry's determination and ambition to be beautiful nearly remediates the injustice.
Rick Moody (writer, musician)
Flowers are the most striking and banal creatures of our hapless reality. Heide Hatry’s reimaginings free these potted blossoms from the prison of charm, pushing us into a realm where we question our relationship with beauty, animals, and dinner. Not a Rose solidifies Hatry’s place as one of our best conceptual artists.
David Streitfeld (journalist, New York Times)
Not a Rose is an extraordinary volume, a work of conceptual art under the aspect of book, at once subtly undermining our notion of the meaning of beauty and amplifying the sphere in which we locate it. I think it’s terrific.
Annie Dillard (author)
Heide Hatry’s reconfiguration of animal flesh into flowers is a wonderful enactment of Buddhist philosophy. When the repulsive is also beautiful, then we have arrived at a place of wisdom that transcends our usual subjective prejudices.
Stephen T. Asma (philosopher)
It is in these clashing layers of beauty and ugliness, desire and abject, life and death, so carefully woven together that these contemporary
fleurs du mal reveal their unique and enigmatic essence, one that brings us to question our approach to nature and its alleged beauty through the shattering of our certainties.
Giovanni Aloi (editor of Antennae)
Nothing is actually as it seems to be… we are seduced by alchemical illusions. Hatry, the alchemist of forbidden transmutations creates photographs of exquisite, delicate flowers sculpted from repellant animal organs. Our perceptions are pulled asunder while the accompanying essays provide a history to deepen this remarkable compilation.
Carolee Schneemann (painter, performance artist)
Heide Hatry’s flowers bring to visibility and nameability this mixed body of death and delicacy, lust and loveliness commingling. ...In her corporeal punnings, her plays on ears, bellies, fingers and tongues, Heide Hatry hothouses this flowering of flesh into word and word into flesh.
Steven Connor (writer, critic)
Hatry’s flowers, then, might be considered a modern vanitas, exposing the death that lies at the heart of our dreams of love, of beauty, and of life itself.
Alex Mackintosh (PhD student)
Heide Hatry’s flowers can be fruitfully considered in the context of this semantic play with flowers and virginity. Her photographs parallel the works of Thomas Demand in that they double the mimetic process …they are the imitation of an imitation Her photographs encompass the similarity and the contiguity that link flowers and virginity. They literally give flesh to metaphor and metonymy.
Jonas Grethlein (classical philologist)
Hatry's work is willful, it is planned, but, I want to say, it is not wholly unconnected to an array of traditional practices, including haruspicy, and perhaps including a sort of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine in reverse. ...Hatry is giving something like an offering. It's not clear to whom, and it's not clear why, but the guts of slaughtered animals are being offered up for something or other, rather than discarded or gulped down; and that feels awkwardly regressive. ... Hatry's work does not, like that of Hermann Nitsch and the Vienna Actionists, explicitly attempt to breath new life into the ancient cult of sacrifice. It is (slightly) more subtle than that: it confounds our idea of what art is by taking what is ordinarily off-limits as an artistic medium and turning it into one, at high risk of being misunderstood as the work of a Hannibal Lecter, or as, you know, 'another one of those Germans'.
Justin E H Smith (philosopher)
[Hatry’s work] involves the discovery of an entirely and disturbingly original way to artistically depict the mortal nature of objects not in words, not in colors or harmonious sounds, but in actual mortal objects that inhabit the three-dimensional reality we share, where the line between perishing and being born, the flourishing of life and its decay and annihilation in death is not at all clear cut but remains, constantly, an inexplicable mystery that needs such images to bridge it, to make for some of us our existence here easier to endure and more fluently praised. Her new work is among other things a marvelous expression of the ancient lamentation for its maker’s own mortal flesh, and its fragile resurrection in the only slightly less ephemeral flowering of a concept and a work of art, whose mysterious and futile beauty seems, at least, not to be decaying right before our eyes.
Franz Wright (writer)
Hatry has grown these Flowers in that No Mans Land between terror and desire, which is a hairy, scary but by no means unpromising place for the growth and cultivation of art.
Anthony Hayden-Guest (writer, reporter)
All the solid-appearing artworks on these pages are evanescent and soon rotted away – just as do real flowers after their brief blooms have fooled insects into perpetuating their species.
Richard Milner (anthropologist, historian of science, filmmaker)
[Heide Hatry shows] the “itself,” the soul of art in the modern age: to transcend and transfigure our daily matter, to be dysfunctional yet purposive – to display waste as the essence of becoming.
Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (prof. for comparative literature)
In a process of fabrication that [Hatry’s work] might well be called recombinant taxidermy, this most fleshly of all conceptualists has fabricated her bounteous blooms out of blood and guts, fairly turning Sweeney Todd into a botanist. ...This is a nasty but concise kind of visual pun, a game of eye-rhyme that finds chicken parts and the bodies of sea life transforming readily, seemingly effortlessly, into the members of some other natural kingdom.
Peter Frank (writer, curator)
Hatry has ingeniously found a way to externalize the malaise many of us feel in consuming the messages and products of our commercial culture. We’re attracted... but we feel queasy about it. Something is not quite right, and Hatry has given us a wonderfully effective reason for our discomfort.
Joel Simpson (writer, photographer)
Hatry's decision to use material that Westerners usually eschew – because, among other reasons, it reminds us of our base antecedence – to craft beautiful forms is subtly provocative, goading us to wrestle with ontological questions that, like the discarded meat the artist works with, we prefer to neglect.
Christopher Rieger (writer, artist)
Hatry’s bedeviling constructs are artful as nature.
Askold Melnyczuk (writer, editor of Agni)