Animals Are Outside Today

2 minute read

Humans have always had complicated relationships with animals, and we have been prone to reflect upon those relationships since early humans first painted creatures on cave walls. Photographers are no different, and several have created large bodies of work on the subject, from Garry Winogrand’s The Animals, to more contemporary image makers like Amy Stein (Domesticated), Rebecca Norris Webb (The Glass Between Us), Robin Schwartz (Amelia’s World and others), and Annie Marie Musselman (Finding Trust). Chicago-based photographer Colleen Plumb has just joined their ranks with the release of her new monograph Animals Are Outside Today.

Shot over more than a decade in a wide range of both obvious and unexpected locations, Plumb draws a thread between seemingly disparate settings and subjects, illustrating just how intertwined our lives are. Plumb explores our use of animals for entertainment, companionship, food, and work, and how their images populate our consciousness, our rituals, our myths and symbols, and even our corporate branding. As Plumb shows, many of these relationships are defined by contradiction: we are drawn to the wild nature of animals, we admire their beauty and nobility, we anthropomorphize and even worship them, and yet we strive to control them, to restrict them to the roles we prescribe, to keep them in their place—they are always subject to the whims of our attention and neglect.

Animals Are Outside Today is currently available from Radius Books, and showing at at the Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami, Fla. until June 25.

Nungesser Elephant, 2010Colleen Plumb
American Alligator, 2005Colleen Plumb
Elephant House, 2000Colleen Plumb
Pig Roast, 2005Colleen Plumb
Burying Jack, 2009Colleen Plumb
Albrecht and Corwin, Canyon Deer, 2000Colleen Plumb
Trapped Bird, 2005Colleen Plumb
Buffalo Farm, 2008Colleen Plumb
Snake With Kids, 2000Colleen Plumb
Rubens Dogs, 1999Colleen Plumb
Laundromat, 1997Colleen Plumb
Amish Horses, 1999Colleen Plumb
Oiled Sea Turtle, Louisiana, 2010Colleen Plumb
Mail Truck, 1998Colleen Plumb
Procyon Lotor, 1999Colleen Plumb
Geese With Lights, 1999Colleen Plumb

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