GEO thema 06, August 2013. A GEO online slideshow is [HERE].
“Why do you like your dog so much?”, the interviewer wants to know. “Because he doesn’t take anything badly and because he loves his master!“, said the lady.
Almost 25 years of photographing animals – we can say this developed into a life theme – always means encounters with people as well. Some of these meetings were moving, some odd and bizarre, others left us confused or totally incomprehensible. We have seen a lot in this life span and after intensively dealing with this issue our inner voice was getting louder and louder: What is it what humans are doing there? Some call it love.
Millennia-long humans were harassed by an atavistic fear of wild animals and they experienced triumph at the hunt of a rather predominant rival. Later came proudness along with domestication and breeding. Now we were able to obsess animals and finally had the exert power over the creature. Mythology, religion, culture, philosophy, politic -and political correctness – formed our affairs to animals. To make it short: this intimate relationship is very complicated. In our western society the phenomenon of animal love has a high moral value. Animals will be rescued, fed, collected, cuddled, lamented, healed and purchased – and all this in an excessive, radical, grotesque, tragicomic and also touching way.
In our photo project we want to show varieties of animal love – and these are so different like humans themselves. All of these people have different reasons, experiences and motivations why their relationship to certain animals is so close and special. However we all think about this behavior, here is still the question: does the animal wants to be loved? Or wants the animal just to be an animal? Maybe animal love is a big misunderstanding. It is a one-sided relationship, thus probably rather self-love. Or maybe not. With our photographs we don’t want to judge, we took every personality seriously. Everyone can make up his own mind.