Nich Hance McElroy, Rosa, Red Bluff, Montana, 2011
11x14”, Red River Arctic Polar Satin paper, signed
I’ve donated an 11x14” print to the Kickstarter for Mossless Issue Three: The United States (2003-2013). There are three days left to help fund the project - and receive back-issues of Mossless, a copy of the book, or a signed artist’s print in return. Do it.
The eyes of an animal when they consider a man are attentive and wary. The same animal may well look at other species in the same way. He does not reserve a special look for man. But by no other species except man will the animal’s look be recognized as familiar. Other animals are held by the look. Man becomes aware of himself returning the look.
The animal scrutinizes him across the narrow abyss of non-comprehension. This is why the man can surprise the animal. Yet the animal – even if domesticated – can also surprise the man. The man too is looking across a similar, but not identical, abyss of non-comprehension. And this is so wherever he looks. He is always looking across ignorance and fear. And so, when he is being seen by the animal, he is being seen as his surroundings are seen by him. His recognition of this is what makes the look of the animal familiar. And yet the animal is distinct, and can never be confused with man. Thus, a power is ascribed to the animal, comparable with human power but never coinciding with it. The animal has secrets which, unlike the secrets of caves, mountains, seas, are specifically addressed to man.
- John Berger, Why Look At Animals?
from Another Ventriloquist