March 6 - May 3, 2018

Jayanti Seiler

Of One and The Other

Of One and The Other explores the complexity found in the diverse relationships between animals and humans from points along a spectrum spanning the fine line between adoration, lifesaving, and exploitation. The photographs developed out of my long-term dedication to wildlife rehabilitation and rescue where I experienced firsthand the unique dynamic between injured animals and individuals that dedicate their lives to this cause. I was compelled to look further at the myriad permutations in the treatment of animals that I observed across different environments wherein humans and animals interact today. I spent time among falconers that use juvenile birds of prey to hunt, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers that treat injured animals, owners of exotic big cats, children in the 4-H Program that raise farm animals for market, sanctuaries that care for abused and neglected wild and domestic animals, taxidermists, and private zoos that sell “pet and play encounters” with juvenile big cats. By immersing myself in the commonalities and conflicts of interest between neighboring groups, I sought to call attention to the slippery divide; the borderlands we collectively share with our animal counterparts and make pictures about whether or not these figurative boundaries are either honored or crossed. They speak to the intrinsic dilemma surrounding our ideals and reverence for wild nature as well as our inevitable interference.

Made over a period of five years, the photographs that are part of this collection look at how we desire to coexist harmoniously with animals, yet we seek control, consumption, and domination. These disparities have yet to be reconciled, however there is a growing sensibility and consciousness in Western culture towards animals as sentient―but not equal―beings. My photographic art lives within this larger context and ultimately advocates for an essential regard and greater consideration for animals that are, after all, our fellow inhabitants of this planet who are unable to speak for themselves. Of One and The Other is an acknowledgment of the contradictions, the unresolved and the intricate edges shared by the contemporary lives of humans and the undomesticated world of non-human beings. As seen together, the images are a call to revere the natural world while living in a modern one in which the two realms are in open conflict. Irrespective of our own biases, within every interaction and encounter, there deserves to be a deeper understanding of our obligations and our impact on the lives of animals; who by definition share our ability to perceive and respond to complex sensations and emotions: sight, touch, smell, but also joy, fear, and suffering. –Jayanti Seiler


ABOUT THE ARTIST: Jayanti Seiler is an Associate Professor at the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies in Daytona Beach Florida, and has taught technical and creative art courses in photography since 2011. She founded the organization JayantiPictures, LLC. in 2017, to promote, fund and produce artist works that increase understanding for the fair treatment of animals. In 2018, she released a first edition fine art book of her series titled, Of One and The Other, capturing the complexity of human-animal relationships. Jayanti’s photography has gained national and international recognition in publications including The New York Times LENS, LIFE FORCE Magazine in the UK, LENSCRATCH, Véganes, magazine contreculturel in Canada, Vision Magazine in Beijing, Edge of Humanity Magazine, Muybridge’s Horse Magazine, and Bird In Flight Magazine in Russia. Her work has been exhibited at the Southeast Museum of Photography, Chiang Mai University Art Museum in Thailand, Harvard University, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, and Washington State University. Jayanti received her Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Florida and her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design.