Call of the Wild
In my photographic work, I often explore the theme of the relationship between humans and natural environment. The “Call of the Wild” series explores one of the aspects of this relationship. It shows how we outfit ourselves for the purpose of associating with nature. My photographs present people enjoying recreational fishing, hiking, cycling, canoeing, etc., posing in their garb and with their gear, as well as the camper trailers and vans and camping sites, on the background of pristine landscapes.
I find it interesting that for the purpose of enjoying the wilderness, we equip ourselves so heavily, as if we wanted to actually minimize our contact with the natural as much as possible. We want to experience being in the deep woods, but we also want to have a comfortable bed to sleep in and an easy chair to sit on and we want our meals to be cooked nicely and served on the table. We want to have electricity there for our fridges and TVs and air conditioners. We take with us the sprays against insects. Some of us need expensive outfits and sophisticated equipment for seemingly simple activities like fishing or hiking. Even those of us who admire the wild nature and seek to commune with it, are shielding themselves from it or arming themselves against it.
This is one of many examples of the constant struggle between the humanity and the planet we inhabit. Perhaps it’s not as spectacular as huge factories, dump-sites or oil leak disasters, but it is a part of the same process. I hope that my project will encourage viewers to think about our attitude towards the nature and our complicated love-hate relationship with it.
The photographs were taken with medium format analog camera, on color film. Creation of this series was made possible by the Ontario Arts Council project grant.