Silent roars meet stares of intensity. Piercing eyes surround from every corner, from every wall, seeming to tell a story without speaking a word. “Animal Logic” at the Steven Bulger Gallery is an exhibition of photographs by a wide assortment of photographers. Images from the late 19th century mesh with contemporary images of modern beasts.
A simple stroll through the gallery is something alike walking through a pet shop. Each animal placed in a position to be admired, to be contemplated, to be taken to a new home.
Having escaped from the “Pet Mart” mindset however, one is left to ponder animals, and their role in our society. On a deeper level, the pictures all seem to make the viewer question the relationship between man and beast. This show seems to parade Mans ability to domesticate, to dominate animals. The show also seems to presents mans constant desire to showcase animals as objects, as things to own, but not necessarily respect. Caged animals, pieces of animals, this show seems to speak of mans need to truly be king of the almighty jungle. A Butcher shop to one side, a duck behind bars to the other, is Man only secure when he has the life of animals at his disposal? A group of Matadors smile as they prepare themselves to enter the Bull ring. Like the Gladiators of days passed, they prepare for a battle of blood and glory, yet it is not mans blood that they will let flow.
Images of hollow triumph aside, the animals themselves present a curious spectacle. Possibly it’s the posture of the common mutt, or maybe the look in the eye of the Silverback Ape. Yet despite the circumstances that these animals all find themselves in, they all seem to exude the same feeling of quiet confidence. As if accepting their circumstance, they all seem to transcend that circumstance and emit a positive sense of self worth. As if to say that man can break their back but not their spirit, the creatures, whether large or small, all have a regal quality that comes through the work.
Due to the quality of the work in the show, few complaints can be found. Alas, there does seem to be a keen flaw that prevents the show from being a resounding success. As if the work was put into a big pile and pulled out at random to adorn the walls, the flow of the work is disjointed. Thusly, this show resides on the cusp of imminent success. Had more attention been paid to creating an environment positive to the work, then the show would definitely be a must see.