This time I’d like to introduce you to Jennifer, who posts under the name of pestzuster on Instagram. We share a common interest in collecting antiques and taxidermy. Living in The Netherlands, Jennifer browses Dutch thrift stores and antique shops and somehow turns up with the most amazing finds. She often shares her recent finds on Instagram, and she arranges them in a way that couldn’t be more aesthetically appealing to me. There is something otherworldly to her pictures, as though she bestows the ghosts of the past with a voice to speak to us in the present. Also, no-one ever looked as good in white vintage gowns as she does!
I had the chance to ask Jennifer three questions concerning her photography, and of course I’m also going to show you a selection of my favourite pieces by pestzuster.
1. Since when do you use Instagram and what made you create an account in the first place?
I got my first smartphone back in the beginning of ’14, I have never been much for modern inventions, even whilst they can be handy and opening gates to things you wouldn’t come across without. I have always had a fascination for the let’s say “darker aspects” of life, and more important, death. My first posted photos revolved around these themes but weren’t anything I would put a lot of effort in, being mainly graveyard pictures and recently acquired taxidermy pieces. Accompanied by cellphone shots of Black Metal concerts I had visited, and just plain selfies. Somewhere around a year ago I started to get more serious about it, and practicing on my photography and editing. I have no fancy equipment, honestly, and what I use is a laugh. But it works well enough to do what it should be doing.
2. Could you briefly explain the meaning behind your username?
It is a non-existing word that popped to my head. If translated literally, it is the feminine version of “plague doctor”, so, “plague nurse”. I feel drawn towards the era when the Black Death was spread most widely, with all of the lives it took, so I thought it would be fitting for me. The name itself does not make a lot of sense, but neither do I.
3. It seems you take a lot of your inspiration from objects of bygone times and many of your antiques seem to be connected to religion (crucifixes etc.) as well as to mourning. What is it that you find so intriguing about these objects?
These are the exact subjects that make me especially uncomfortable, the same feeling I hope to give to anyone who views my work. What there is when life ends, and what there is beyond the world we see, are also the very most unknown. And I want to somehow explore the borders. I draw a lot of inspiration from old photographs as well, from back in the day when photography was a new invention. Looking at those people in there, knowing they may have witnessed what we are yet to see, is very intriguing to me. And I can spend hours looking at them as well, feeling a connection. I long for death, in a way.
“Inspiring instagrammers” is a series in which I’d like introduce you to great instagram accounts to follow. The first post in this series what about “schwarzkopfnonne”.
Lisa v. D.