New Exhibition Explores The Complex Relationship Between Humans And Animals

Photomonth East London is an international photography festival. There are more than 150 exhibitions in galleries and venues that demonstrate the depth and diversity of contemporary photography. For Our Pleasure is a group Photography show taking place in November as part of Photomonth. The venue for the show is Hackney Picturehouse, a cinema and arts space in Hackney Central, London. This is a thought provoking group photography and installation experience examining human interaction with the environment and animals, and culminating in a panel discussion at which the audience are able to partake in discussion regarding issues raised throughout the show. From stuffed Bison heads and taxidermy stag heads wearing make up, through to the work of four very different photographers, the exhibition looks at the way we, as humans, exploit and interact with animals in the created environment around us. The Photographers are Martin Usborne, Daniel Kukla, Adrien Erhardt and Alex Grace.

The Exhibition has been curated and produced by Alex Grace ( Daniel Kukla, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where he works as a freelance and fine art photographer. He is a graduate of The International Center of Photography program in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism. Prior to his photographic education he attended The University of Toronto and received his B.Sc. in Evolutionary Ecology, Biology, and Evolutionary Human Anatomy.

He works at the Juncture of these disciplines, focusing in on capturing images that have the power to articulate our ever-changing relationship with the natural world. His work has been exhibited in the United States, UK, Burma, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Spain, and has been published in the New York Times, The Washington Post, On Earth Magazine, New York Post, National Geographic. Daniel says, of his ‘Captive Landscapes’ project: “We, as humans, go to great lengths to satisfy our desire for a connection with the natural world, especially in our interactions with wild and exotic animals. Zoos are the primary site for this relationship, but they often obscure the conflicts inherent in maintaining and displaying captive wild animals.

The Photographers are Martin Usborne, Daniel Kukla, Adrien Ehrhardt and Alex Grace.  The  Exhibition has been curated and produced by Alex Grace

Daniel Kukla, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, currently resides in Brooklyn, New York where he works as a freelance and fine art photographer.   Daniel says, of his ‘Captive Landscapes’ project:  “In this series, I photographed the interiors of animal enclosures at 12 different zoos across the U.S and Europe.  These images invite the viewer to question the role of these constructed habitats, and explore
the motivations behind collecting, preserving, and controlling the natural world.”

 Martin Usborne lives in central London where he has his photographic studio.   Martin says of his “CRUFTS: Extraordinary dogs, ordinary people” project:  “Crufts, the world’s biggest dog show that takes place in Birmingham each year, was under intense scrutiny a few years ago when a secret TV documentary argued that dog inbreeding was essentially unhealthy and cruel. As a dog-lover and a pedigree owner I thought I had better see what it was all about.”

Adrien Erhardt was born in France and found he was interested in art from a young age.   Adrien says of his  “4°C” project:  “Before beginning this series, I had seen several photos of slaughterhouses, most of which were very dark and gloomy. Instead of documenting the process, I wanted my project to focus
on the people who do it. My goal is to show the reality of this type of work with more objectivity than I had previously seen presented. 

Alex Grace is a commercial and fine art Photographer based in London.   Alex says of her “Factory” project: “I am interested in the Factory Farming process.  I think many people choose to ignore where their food comes from and just see the shiny shelves and the nice supermarket packaging when they think of their food.  My aim is to confront the viewer and make them consider the process.”

This is a Crowdfunded Exhibition and the public can get involved here: 

And that the opening night is on 1st November from 6:30pm at Hackney Picturehouse.

DATES: 1ST – 19th November 2012
PANEL DISCUSSION: 18th November, 14:00 – 16:00. Speakers TBC LOCATION: Hackney Picturehouse, 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE

Visit Photomonth East London Here


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