Animals in Mind

Animals in Mind, is comprised of three suites of photomontaged portraits titled, Missing Bodies, Heads and Stereograph Cards. Human and animal subjects are present throughout all the images. In Missing Bodies the nature of their relationship is less defined, while Stereograph Cards narrate more explicit, even brutal realities of relation. In Heads, animals are evoked conceptually rather than materially. Together they expand photography's two dimensional nature by altering and exercising visual and cerebral perception.

Throughout all the images within the series, the human subject in the foreground is turned away from the camera. The back of each human's head is mirror-reflected, revealing a face that avoids easy categorization. It appears to morph provocatively between animal and human. Are these apparitions of the animals we've eaten or worn or caged? Or expressive reminders of how humans are inextricably linked to all species?

The surreal emergence of such a mysterious embodied presence called forth by the act of reflection seems precient. It advocates for a private and cultural exploration of the dividing line we draw between human and non human species.

Dual views and shifts in perspective and dimension are the material and conceptual forms at play. Human behavior toward animals flows from our beliefs about them. Dualistic thinking, which privileges the human subject above all, negates others in the process.

Julie A. McConnell

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