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January 6, 2008
William Wegman has his Weimaraners, and Jo Longhurst can't get enough of Whippets. And while Longhurst is trying to capture the "human" inteliigence and curiosity of these creatures, she has not resorted to dressing them up in human clothes (thankfully). A wonderful and rich show of her varied approach to portraiture — including stereoscopes — will be on exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London, 10 January to 17 January 2008. There is also a catalog of the work published by Phaidon.
From I know what you're thinking, © Jo Longhurst
Longhurst has this to say about her project:
"My work with the British show Whippet — a dog bred to an ideal standard — focuses particularly on the evolution of the visual image of the Whippet, and the construction of human identity through the shaping of the figure of the dog.
"For several years I’ve been working with top breeders, photographing their dogs by bloodline, exploring their obsessive quest for the ‘perfect dog’. As part of my working process I use a variety of photographic technologies that have been used to record and control human portraits, including state-of-the-art technologies and those already considered obsolete such as stereoscopic cameras. Underpinning the work is an exploration of the effect of looking and being seen. My study of the Whippet foregrounds the intimate relationship between human and animal, and the increasing significance of photographic technologies in the development of human identity. Although I photograph dogs, the questions I ask are always specific to the question of what it is to be human."
You can find more info at her web site.