PIGEONS by Stephen Gill

イギリス人フォトグラファー、スティーブン・ギル(Stephen Gill)の作品集。作者の撮る写真は、感情が希薄であざとさを感じない。人間が何をしようとも、自然の風景のなかで自分たちの生活をつくる鳩の姿がある。人間の建物がシロアリの土塁になったり、橋がビーバーのダムになるのと似ているように、人間も同じ動物なのだ。人間中心の見方とは真逆に見ている作者のイメージが浮き上がってくる。また、別世界の領域に入り 込んでしまったかのように、埃や汚れ、錆や樹液に覆われた小鳩が神話上の生き物のようにも見える。都市の人間は強制的に動物の生活に傷を付け、動物の生活を排除しようとしているが、その前に、私たちは私たち自身の行動に問いかけるべきだという問題を投げかける1冊。

Stephen Gill's photographs are devoid of sentiment or affectation – rather than showing the pigeon in our world, they take us into theirs. The lens noses in under bridges, squeezes through cracks and scopes out crannies. These are images that bestow on the despised flying rats that oft-trumpeted but seldom realised attribution: their dignity. Here are pigeons making their lives in a natural landscape, for whatever else humans may be, we are animals too, and as such our buildings are analogous to the earthworks of termites, and our bridges to the dams of beavers.

It's this inversion of the anthropocentric view that makes Gill's images so compelling. That, and another revelation – for fluffed-up and blinking in the dust and the grime and the rust and rime, we see those mythical beings: the young pigeons. I suspect it's because we've entered this otherworldly realm that we find these juveniles to be arousing not of pity, but a grudging respect. Far from being scroungers or undeserving poor, these doughty birds survive and even thrive despite barbs and more barbs of outrageous human fortune. They are, like the urban foxes, the economic migrants of the animal world – forced into the cities to scratch a living as best they may – and before we condemn them, we would do well to ask ourselves this question: would we do as well were the tables to be turned? - Will Self

by Stephen Gill

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hardcover
52 pages
200 x 252 mm
color
2014

published by AMC (ARCHIVE OF MODERN CONFLICT)