Jayanti Seiler – “Of One and The Other”


Jayanti’s insightful color portraits capture the complex relationship between people and animals.

From Jayanti’s website:
In these photographs, dichotomous and complex relationships between people and animals are explored through found and constructed human-animal encounters. They are a call to revere the natural world while living in a modern one in which the two realms often conflict.

As participant, observer and storyteller, I spent time among people and animals on ‘the border’ at wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers, 4-H club animal auctions, domestic and exotic animal shelters, wildlife sanctuaries, taxidermy shops, traveling circuses and encounters for profit. I was immersed in both the commonalities and conflicts of interest between these neighboring groups. I found various notions of romantic idealism used to rationalize efforts to coexist harmoniously, but also control, consume and rule. The images are performances that reconcile intentions with these dissonant motivations.

The capturers become the captured as they are bound by their commitments to preserve and protect. Conflict is found again in efforts to remain at a distance, pictured as not only humane but also essential to survival and conservation in the world of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Others blatantly bridge that gap and sell encounters with big cats under the same guise. The love and tenderness of the child who raises an animal from birth, who then must find the courage to send it to slaughter and begin the process again; the altruism of individuals who dedicate their lives to preserving the health of debilitated wild animals that otherwise would have been euthanized; the care the taxidermist takes when meticulously crafting keepsakes from hunted animals; big cats purchased as cubs, raised in captivity and discarded, live out their lives in captivity; these disparities are woven into the fabric of the photographs, calling attention to undefined slippery boundaries of displaced intentions and notions of adoration, escape, capture, release, and conservation.

“Of One and The Other” is an acknowledgment of the myriad contradictions, the questionable and complex borderlands of modern life and wild nature. I portray, that irrespective of our own biases, within every interaction and encounter, there deserves to be further understanding of our obligations and impact. This body of work seeks to inspire consideration of the complexity and depth found in the relationships between animals and people from all points along a spectrum that spans the chasm from lifesaving to exploitation.

The facts:
You can see more of Jayanti’s work here.
All photos: © Jayanti Seiler. 
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Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited