News Release

Frozen animal photo exhibition inspired by IUCN Red List

12 December 2014
Endangered book cover
Photo: Erik Hijweege

From 13 December 2014 until 29 March 2015, the Natural History Museum Rotterdam will host Endangered, a photo exhibition by artist Erik Hijweege inspired by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

The photos feature iconic animals like the Sumatran Tiger and the Black Rhino that are frozen in ice. Hijweege uses a special photography technique, the 19th-century collodion process, but he remains secretive about how he creates his photo subjects.

“I do get a lot of questions on the process,” says Hijweege. “All I can say is that it's real ice, the animals are frozen and there is no photoshop involved. The rest I leave to the imagination of the viewer....”

“Hijweege’s frozen animals give me a reassuring sense that death in the ice still offers a way of escape," says Kees Moeliker, curator of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam. “I imagine that’s the feeling cryonics patients have when they arrange to have their bodies immersed in liquid nitrogen, waiting on the day – some day – that scientists can bring them back to life with a bolt of electricity.”

Endangered is also available as a book here. Besides photographs, the book contains a list of 12,000 species that are classified as threatened on the IUCN Red List, presented over several pages in very small print.

"It’s impressive," says Henk Simons of IUCN. "It reads like an indictment: we must act now to end this extinction wave."

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