Fiercely Photogenic

How an animal be presented as something more than a mere charming motif? When does animal photography become an art form? Which deeper dimensions are fathomed by photographers when they go beyond capturing a straightforward picture of an animal with the camera? What do such images strive to convey, and just how difficult is it to work with animals in pursuit of a definite thematic concept?
Animal photography has long since found a place in the art world – from exotic wild animals to agricultural livestock, and all the way to domestic pets: increasingly, all are sought-after subjects for professional photographers.
In our series “Fiercely Photogenic,” we present photographers who work with animals in distinctive and at times unconventional artistic contexts, in the process visualizing newly discovered dimensions in the relationship between animal and photography. Featured are five artists who could hardly be more different from one another. Viewers can expect whimsical perspectives of our beloved four-legged friends – at times from unusual angles. We pose the question: How is the domestication of zoo animals to be approached aesthetically and at the same time critically? And what happens when animals such as bats are transferred into the studio, far from their normal living environments, where they achieve a new, hyper-aesthetic visibility? Who would have thought that cattle could be displayed so that these farm animals unexpectedly acquire a marvelous aura, especially in black and white? Finally, there are one-eyed cats and three-legged pygmy rabbits – animals nobody really wants. A colorful stage restores dignity to the residents of an animal shelter, revealing creaturely personalities of unsuspected vibrancy. The series showcases superb artworks that are remote from classical animal photography. These touching, thought-provoking images will also beguile the viewer, capturing our imagination through their aesthetic qualities.

First broadcast on Arte:

05.05. - 09:05 am: Claudio Gotsch 

12.05. - 09:05 am: Tim Flach

26.05. - 09:05 am: Kristin Schnell

19.05. - 09:05 am: Eric Pillot

02.06. - 09:05 am: Andrius Burba

Buch / Regie

Nicola Graef, Lena Scheidgen


2024, arte (MDR/SWR)

5x25 min.