Friday, December 7, 2007

"How to hunt"

Trine Søndergaard and Nicolai Howalt, with “How To Hunt”, are not only paying reverence to prey and hunter, but also to the photographic traditions of view camera photography. They also embrace photographic manipulation software and digital printing advancements as a means of more easily disseminate their concepts. The lush Dutch countryside setting severs as a comforting stage, a blanketing of beauty to contrast the acts of implied violence.

When hunting is mentioned, most people immediately think of the vulgarity of the act…as a sport. What of its attributes in the aid of survival? If you enjoy avian meat, and you what to have some stores of it for winter, it used to be you’d get a good hunting dog, train him well. Then, teach yourself how to track birds in flight with a rifle. All the while, training yourself to shoot accurately and consistently. Then, you’d have your stores. Not easy. (Things worth doing are usually hard).

Technology has served to make life much easier. By reminding ourselves of these direct relationships between food and prey, it can awaken those feelings of a deeper connection to ones environment. Rather than a mere act of survival modern hunting mimics these traditions, reverent of the hunter and prey throughout the ages, while practicing the act with all the know-how of modernity.

Showing at Silverstein Photography 535 W. 24th Street, until January 12, 2008

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