On a menu, octopus, scallop, lobster, shark, and crab mean one thing, and when brushing up against your leg in the ocean, another. In Cosima von Bonin’s work, they resemble oversized stuffed toys, approachable and perhaps even friendly. The hermit crab in LACANCAN, 2010, slumps on the slats beneath the seat of a lifeguard chair and faces two microphones. His audience awaits a speech, or warning, but he remains silent. Like all of von Bonin’s sea creatures, he has invaded a space of human recreation that is normally off-limits. Though he seems to be having a good time doing so, he doesn’t give anything away…

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