Creature [1999–2010]

“Others will obtain more enjoyment from a good honest […] Airdale terrier, in the same way as a beginner in photography will achieve more success with a simple box camera than with a highly complicated apparatus.” Konrad Lorenz, 1948

Animal pets have become part of industry in the second half of the nineteenth century, at the same time when the photographic industry started its own long run. Neither pets nor amateur photographs provide any surprises. Despite the things that make each beloved cat or dog a special animal, the life of almost every pet is absorbed into a series of strict stereotypes, i.e. into one and the same pattern of behavior. Family photography, which also includes images of pets, in a similar way also has an expected range of necessary conventions. At the same time, both pets and family photography remain complex social phenomena whose explanation requires a multidisciplinary approach from several scientific fields.

The dog is one of the most extraordinary creatures – both a wolf and a sheep. It was the first domesticated animal and the only one whose relationship with humans contains so many unexplained elements. Creature is the result of photographing one dog during the eleven years of his life. The project started out as an exploration of the conventional nature of amateur snapshots of pets. I noticed an important relationship between the amateur snapshots and the pets themselves. As with many other photo-based representations, stereotypical pet photographs act as a direct model for the pet owners’ behavior. I was interested to comment on this while staying in the domain of everyday situations, which in itself corresponds with amateur material.

A somewhat witty exploration of the conventional patterns of pet representation, this work may also easily be understood as a process of approaching an immanent end – which in this case meant both the end of work and the end of the model.

Mihailo Vasiljevic 2010


Verzija na srpskom

Milan Aleksic, Bestiary, 2006

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