Into the world of the Other, we gaze with fear and fascination.
Jellies are one of the oldest, most adaptable and efficient of all animals but their ability to perceive the world is not well understood, largely due to an absence what we consider to be organs of sense. They belong to a subphylum of cnidarians that metamorphose through a medusae form stage in their life cycle.
The myth of Medusa, for which the phase is named, is itself a tale of transformation: one of beauty into terror. Ovid’s Metamorphoses details an outcast female figure. Her fall from grace commutes the idol into potent feminist fury. Medusa’s narrative has undergone shifting interpretations but her powerful apparition and unblinking gaze into truth conjure fear.
As we gaze into worlds unknown to us, there is a tendency to place ourselves in opposition to that which we don’t understand and to take sides in our search for a universal truth, despite growing discomfort that our shifting world has set us forever adrift in uncertainty.