I know the work of artists like Robin Schwartz, Colleen Plumb, and Amy Stein (Amy even won one of the Photolucida book awards) have worked with the idea of human and animal interaction and the intermingling or intersection of one in the lives of the other and vice versa. I obviously enjoy this genre even picking Nicole Jean Hill's portfolio Home Turf for a brief interview for NPR's The Picture Show. Alexandra Arzt's work is similar in some ways to the aforementioned portfolios, but it expands on the fetish nature of the animals in these humans' lives. Whether living or stuffed, adorned or wild, breathing or inanimate, many of Arzt's animal and human representations seem artificial, awkward or just a bit unusual. Arzt states about this project Human-Animal: for a brief interview on
"These are photographs of real people and the animals, objects, and places that belong to them. I am fascinated by the similarities between life forms and how alike our basic drives and behaviors are. Though the basic physiology of mammals is extremely alike from organs to skeleton (even a barnacle has a mouth, intestine, penis) there is something indefinably different about each species. Even as I find the affinities between life forms intriguing, the boundaries between humans and other animals also interests me. I am not simply referring to the large brains that endow humans with culture, logic, self consciousness, and advanced language or our bipedal movement or opposable thumbs. To me, the indefinable difference is the mystery of animal perception that humans are only able to access through imagination and theory. In her book Adam’s Task, Vicki Hearne describes inter-species interactions as when each individual “knows for sure about the other…that each is a creature with an independent existence, an independent consciousness and thus the ability to think and take action in a way that may or may not be welcome (meaningful or creature-enhancing) to the other.” When we see another living creature, we can never truly know how they perceive us or their environment."
Read more of Arzt's statement and see more of her work on her website.