Photo Credit: Jayanti Seiler, Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, FL, 2017 © Seiler
April 15, 2022 – July 3, 2022
The Company We Keep: Photographs of Our Complex Relationships with Animals
Guest curator Selina Román
Throughout human history, animals touch so many aspects of our lives – as companions, labor, food, clothing, and entertainment. We call them our children, dress them, and consider them one of the family. Other animals are raised for our entertainment or to be used for research, often enduring cruel and heartbreaking conditions. The need to anthropomorphize these creatures and make them succumb to our whims has created a dangerous dynamic fraught with the best of intentions and calamitous outcomes.
In this two-fold exhibition, photographers Jayanti Seiler and Jo-Anne McArthur offer poignant and powerful perspectives on the myriad interactions between humans and beast. Seiler turns her lens on a number of human-animal relationships – from the owners of exotic and big-breed animals as pets, to those who employ animals as entertainers. Many of her photographs show the love and awe that these owners have for the animals; however, in other images, Seiler hints at the paradoxical nature of these relationships and the thin line between life and death on which these owners walk. With a heavy dose of beauty, Seiler’s photographs offer a sobering, non-judgmental look at the owners and their complicated bonds with their charges.