These intensely personal and up-close portraits of draft horses that serve the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Army’s oldest active infantry regiment known as “The Old Guard,” reveal a powerful human connection to these honored animals. Using only the natural light that reaches into the stalls, photographer Charlotte Dumas captures the horses as they relax and move towards sleep after a day of work.
“The bond between mankind and animals, and the extensive history that it accompanies, is my greatest interest,” says Dumas. Using her standard 80mm lens on medium format film, she seeks to express how humans “use and regard animals for our own purposes, literally and symbolically.” Dumas travels the world making evocative formal portraits of animals, not just horses, characterizing them by their utility, social function, or by the way they relate to people. Her goal is to engender a visual relationship, so that the portrait makes us more conscious of how we look at animals in our everyday lives.
Anima was photographed in 2012 on two separate visits to Washington, D.C. The exhibition is comprised of several grand and impressive images, as well as a poignant video work portraying the animals as they drift in and out of sleep. Five additional works from Dumas’ past projects accompany the exhibition.
The exhibition is organized by Julie Saul Gallery, New York, Silver Eye, and was commissioned by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.