MAGAZINE // ARTISTS
When our senses perceive an environmental stress such as danger or a threat, cells in the nervous and endocrine systems work closely together to prepare the body for action. Often referred to as the fight or flight response, this remarkable example of cell communication elicits instantaneous and simultaneous responses throughout the body of either animal or person.
Never mind the physiological reaction though, subconsciously, flight or fight might be very well one of the most distinct and important characteristics which we use to label and categorize our fellow humans.
As primal as it seems, already Victor Hugo knew:
“In the end it comes down to flight or fight! Those who live are those who fight”
… Or maybe not?
Having left the trees a few million years ago, it is interesting to watch how little we have lost of our ancient features and how absolutely fundamental they still appear to influence both our behaviour as well as our judgement.
Giacomo Brunelli is kind enough to focus on animals when depicting this unmistakable moment of make or break, the very second where involuntarily a body decides whether to run for its life or to attack.
He artistically creates photography which captures those strange moments of innocence, fleeting like enigmatic butterflies yet also conveys the overwhelming sense of survival instinct vigorously taking over any and all distracting components.
His images are a force of nature, reminding us about our basic instincts and generating a forceful reaction both chemical and sensory, which will leave you shaken. Now thats what we call "good" photography.
Giacomo Brunelli (b. Perugia, Italy, 1977) graduated with a degree in International Communications in 2002. His series on animals has been exhibited widely. The work has also won numerous awards.
His work is in the collection of Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts and Portland Art Museum, Usa.
“The Animals”, his first monograph, was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing in 2008.
In 2012, he was commissioned by The Photographers’Gallery to do a project in London that will be shown there 27th February - 27th April 2014.
"I have been working on the series since 2005 and the animals I photograph are found in the backyards, small villages, fields, and farms and I call the way I work “animal-focused street photography”.
When I was a child I used to spend time playing with animals and I think that is why I push the lens often to its closest point of focus, almost touching the subject and forcing flight or fight from the animal, which is when I then record its reaction.
Once I see an animal that I want to photograph, I try to ignore it then I run after it which usually gains a response; sometimes I just stare at it and see what happens. Their reactions are different, sometimes they are curious about the camera and sometimes they get scared about the noise of the shutter. When I am dealing with dead animals I pick them up from the ground and place them where I think the setting works. In this case my interaction with the animal is a way to give purpose to something that it no longer has.
The images are all shot on a 35mm japanese camera, Miranda Sensomat (once belonged to my father) made in the 60’s with a removable viewfinder, allowing waist level composition or shooting with the camera set on ground.
The prints are self printed in the darkroom and come with rounded corners and black edges. The flim is a Kodak Tri-x 400 and the best time to capture my subjects is in the morning, using both direct light when the sun is out or diffused light on a cloudy day."