I wonder if the relationship we as humans share with animals and nature is genuine, authentic, real enough. For four years beginning in 2013, I visited natural history museums, zoos, and other places where visitors can experience captive and preserved animals in over half the states across the US while thinking about whether our interactions with animals and nature are sincere and substantial or artificial and contrived.
As humans in a fast-paced, overwhelmingly digital existence, we seek a connection with animals and the natural world in order to feel whole. So many of our interactions feel limited, as we are always at a bit of a distance from our non-human animal counterparts and the physicality of our planet. The visitor's experience of animals and nature at zoos, museums, and other like places is curated, controlled, dulled down or played up. My photographs highlight the divide between humans and "the wild," and the various ways in which the wild is experienced today.
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