As with much portraiture, Dumas’ photographs are intended to provoke a kind of interaction, one that is focused and intense, between her viewers and her subjects. Her goal is to engender a visual relationship, so that the portrait makes us more conscious of how we look at animals in our everyday lives. Ultimately, she hopes, our view of these animals’ circumstances will provoke us to examine our own role in their stories. “The bond between mankind and animals, and the extensive history that it accompanies, is my great interest,” says Dumas. “How we tend to use and regard animals for our own purposes, both literally and symbolically; and the characteristics that we like to take to
heart from them, and the ones we attribute to them.”
ANIMA BY CHARLOTTE DUMAS
Humans are animals. I think it is dangerous to deny this fact. A holistic ideal cannot be interpreted as a denial of the body’s senses. That is to strive for purity and perfection, - a mind without senses, heart and desire. Desire is the root of life itself. I find both worshipping desire, and repressing desire equally dangerous.