Award-winning French photographer, multidisciplanry aritst, and activist Sophie Gamand will unveil a new exhibition ‘The Invisible Wounds of Friendship’ in Los Angeles next month from October 6 - 9. Exploring the 15,000-year-old friendship between dogs and humans through the prism of consent and agency, a long time New Yorker, this new exhibition is her first solo show on the West Coast.
Gamand's most notable work includes the 'Pit Bull Flower Power' series and 'Wet Dog'; the recipient of a 2014 Sony World Photography Award, her work has been celebrated in publications such as National Geographic and O Magazine.
'The Invisible Wounds of Friendship' explories the bond between man and his best friend and seeks to reveal truths about our own humanity. Gamand shared, "I photograph dogs to better understand humans. Dogs are the first - and most striking - example of artificial selection. Acting like gods, Men created dogs, manipulated their genetics to fulfill their own needs and desires. We subdued an entire specie. I believe this should give us tremendous responsibility towards dogs, and the way we treat them speaks volume about our humanity."
The exhibition artwork includes never-before-seen photographs, cyanotypes, embroideries, paintings, video installations, virtual reality as well as a curated collection of Gamand's most celebrated work, all centered around the question: "We claim dogs are our best friends, but are we really acting like theirs?"
A passionate activist and advocate for animal rights, Gamand has partnered with The Annenberg PetSpace, a unique community space featuring an interactive place for pet adoptions, an education center, and a leadership institute that focuses squarely on the mutually beneficial and dynamic bond between people and their pets, to host an on-site adoption event at The Naked Eye Studio, a historic art deco theater, in celebration of national 'Adopt A Shelter Dog' Month which falls in October.
Gamand stated, "My work explores these complex dynamics in the relationship between humans and dogs. Each year, American animal lovers spend about $60 billion on food, veterinary care, kennels and other pet services. Yet each year in this same country, 3.9 million of dogs end up in animal shelters. This dichotomy raises questions about us, humans, and our social interactions, as well as our relationship to nature and our environment. Are dogs the victims of our fast culture? Have they become disposable? Dogs hold up a mirror to our humanity, and I hope that by observing them, I can shed a better light on ourselves. I am particularly interested in the ways in which our own gender dynamics permeate our relationship with dogs."
'The Invisible Wounds of Friendship' will run for one weekend, Thursday, October 6 - Sunday, October 9th. Admission is free.
'Invisible Wounds of Friendship'
The Naked Eye Studio: 1443 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles CA, 90007.
Parking: Street parking available. Valet on Saturday evening.
Sarah Parsons Media
Publicist, Sarah Parsons