Animals & Values

The notion that the state of humanity can be read and studied by the way we relate to animals is a vital thread in the work of Charlotte Dumas. Her choice of sub-ject relates directly to the way we use, co-exist with, and define specific animals, assigning various symbolisms to them as well as our own personal reflections. It is her belief that the disappearance of the actual presence of animals as a given in our society greatly affects how we experience life and for example our ability to be empathetic with one another. The gap that currently exists between animals used and seen as a food resource on one hand and the anthropomorphic use of them on the other (as they are also often depicted in visual language) contributes to an increasingly contradictory relationship. When it comes to animal topics, emotions often run high. It seems the less we are in direct contact with them, the more we lose the perspective of their true capacity and what they mean to us.

Charlotte Dumas (1977, Vlaardingen NL) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam as well as at ISCP in New York and Cité des Arts, Paris, France. Her work is shown internationally in institutions and museums such as fotomuseum Winterthur, The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, De Pont Museum for Contemporay Art, Tilburg, Foam Amsterdam and Gallery 916, Tokyo. She has made 13 publications to date, including Retrieved and her most recent book Work Horse.