Taxidermists

I took this photograph in Vermont thinking about the animals in the antique store and how it felt weird to drive or walk by them with all their empty eyes staring out at me. Taxidermy is a strange phenomenon. It’s a little like playing God, I guess. One is able to preserve something beautiful, graceful, fleeting and domesticate something that is wild – bring it into a space where it couldn’t exist otherwise. I hope these animals lived good lives, were able to breath the mountain air and feel loose earth under their paws and hooves. Standing in the storefront they looked equally amused, sheepish and pissed off at the pane of glass separating them from their true habitat. And though these expressions were somehow part of the taxidermy process, I could understand all of their reactions.

A few weeks after having made this photograph I went to the MOMA to see Eugene Atget’s Documents Pour Artistes and stumbled upon this photograph:

It’s funny how photographers today are always treading in the footsteps of the masters of photography – regardless of whether or not they are aware of it.