Mari Janeva
Macedonia, 1998
Thesis: I Never Liked My Pink Dresser

Shark's Buffet

My work tells the story of corals that have been taken away from their natural habitat and put in a space where they do not belong. 

The coral reefs of our planet are one of the richest ecosystems, and on many coast lines they are in danger of disappearing. The Caribbean coastline is largely impacted by the warming up of the oceans and seas, not having enough time to cool down, corals are slowly declining. So, to protect the vital diversity of these ecosystems, Cuba has created the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean; and to protect it, Cuba has forbidden it’s tourists to take home souvenirs they scavenged from the beautiful beaches and snorkelling tours. 


At the start of this project, while looking at my coral collection on my shelf, I couldn’t help but reminisce my and my mother’s trip to Cuba back in 2009. I was a wild kid that loved nature and loved to collects shells and rocks and everything a place could offer me. After many disappointments of finding out I cannot take home the big star-fish I found, or the lobsters crawling around on the ocean floor, that baby crocodile at the petting zoo. I had to accept that maybe I would only be able to take the skeletons of the corals I found and collected. 


With my work, I would like to bring forth the fact that international travel requires a careful understanding of a nation’s flora and fauna; what are you allowed to bring in or bring out of a country? Are these species endangered, dangerous, toxic or are part of the lands indigenous flora and fauna? Will they affect the ecosystem of the place you decide to take them to? 


I used these corals as instruments to create sounds of the ocean, and tell stories of their untold destiny of becoming digital files or decorations on someones shelf or hard drive. 

Projects by: Mari Janeva