Cougar, 2010

Cougar, 2010


Animals are often used to symbolize those aspects of human nature and desire that are real, yet unseen. Our associations with animals have their roots in art, mythology, religion, and literature. We are drawn to animals for their symbolic powers; they represent more primal versions of ourselves. In this work, I orchestrate the illusion of a fleeting encounter with a wild creature in the landscape.

A camera is an instrument of pursuit and capture. Unlike the hunter who is in pursuit of real prey, the photographer is in the business of transforming the real and leaving it behind. As part of the image-making process, the lens inherently turns what is shot into artifice or symbol. There is visual ambiguity in the process: the lure calls us toward something seemingly real, something that instinctually draws us closer.

Captured and distorted by the camera, can a plastic cougar or coyote elicit a response similar to that evoked by a real animal? Does it become a target for human emotional response and the projection of feeling? I am interested in the tension between representation of these idyllic (fake) animals and the consequence of what might lie outside of the frame.

Link to Lure images