Bestia: (Latin; bestia, bestiae) animal or wild animal.

The coexistence of humans and animals is characterized by a variety of different relationship models. The earliest documented records of prehistoric people show paintings of animals in a hunter-and-prey correlation. In the past, animals served as sources of food and clothing as well as a tool for brute (plowing) force. Today, animals have taken on even more functions: therapists, friends, prestige objects.

Animals have also been key in the arts. Since ancient times, they have served as analogies for human behavior. Gods in ancient Egypt appeared with animal heads. In Greek mythology, Zeus changed into animals and copulated with a wide variety of fair maidens. 

The photographs from the series “Bestia” approach these different aspects, from hunting to domestication to the long-running bond between girl and horse. Located between documentation, intuition and concept, “Bestia” shows through symbolic images the ways in which people and animals form both natural and constructed communities, marked in equal measure by connection and loneliness.

—Alexandra Stroemich