These amazing shots by Bertrand Desprez raise questions about the relationships between man and animals, when the latter becomes a source of projection and reflection. On the one hand there is a chatterbox with an inexhaustible penchant for the imaginary world and on the other an enigmatic silent type deciphering the language of the dolphins and raving about the singing of the whales.
Right from childhood, cuddly toys and then pets help to build up the individual’s identity, from the inanimate object right through to human beings, before becoming companions in our games or simple dumb confidants. Upon reaching adulthood, man uses a colourful vocabulary which refers back to the animal world – to be chicken, to wolf down your food, an elephant never forgets, to play the ass, as cunning as a fox. All the different costumes and other forms of tattooing reinforce this need to get closer to the “Other”, the unknown person who sleeps inside us.
The process used by Bertrand Desprez, at a time when there are serious questions about the very existence of some zoos, is to report on this need for identification and portrayal which is increasingly making its presence felt. Whereas biogenetics – using cloning trials for instance – is pushing us further and further ahead in our desire to control our own evolution, the images in Homanimus are a pretext for play, for humour or irony, and they ask us to be humble about our human condition.
13 framed colour prints in American boxes, format: 65 x 80 cm.
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