/05 Animals

Elliot Ross


Animal is a contemplation of how it feels to be a human animal sharing a world with other species of animal. Each image in Animal is not only a portrait of a non-human animal; it is, in some ways, a self-portrait (for each of us has, to some degree, DNA in common with other species), and also a question: What can be known and what is unknowable about being an individual of another animal species?
I believe no one has summarized the perplexity underlying this question better than this contemporary American philosopher:
In the case of our relationship with animals, a sense of the difficulty with reality
may involve…a sense of astonishment and incomprehension that there should be
beings so like us, so unlike us, so astonishingly capable of being companions of
ours and so unfathomably distant. How powerfully strange it is that they and
we should share as much as we do, and also not share; that they should be
capable of incomparable beauty and delicacy and terrible ferocity; that some
among them should be so mind-bogglingly weird or repulsive in their forms or in
their lives.

Cora Diamond
The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy

While the exhibition prints are photographs, it is also true and apparent that they are constituted of ink on paper (pigment prints). The images are the result of digital imaging techniques akin to the processes of drawing and of “sculpting with light.” The end product is subjective work growing out of the more or less objective record that a photograph represents.

Elliot Ross

_Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam published 48 images from this series as the artist’s book Animal (ISBN: 9789053307304 ) in the fall of 2010. In consideration of the fact that there are so far approximately two million species of animal known to us, though, the project remains ongoing.