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The elephants of Charlotte Dumas

November 2, 2023

The new work of Charlotte Dumas, that can be seen at Paris Photo, is dedicated to raising awareness for the elephants. Interested in our relationship with animals, Charlotte decided to look at the different aspects of the complicated and often exploitative history related to the use of elephants and their ivory.

Elephants, communicate (not solely) through infrasound, sounds that are below 20 hz, vibrations that can be heard and felt by them over miles. Their sensory awareness lies beyond ours. Yet in many aspects we share the same social fabric as these sensitive pachyderm animals. They are compassionate and supportive to each other. They care for each other and each other’s families and mourn their deceased relatives.

The series ‘Entendue’ consists of eight small silver gelatin prints, printed on baryte paper. Each work measures only 26,5 x 19 cm. By not taking a photograph of the whole elephant, but being satisfied with only capturing a portion (a tail, a foot, an ear), Charlotte Dumas invites us to pay more attention to the incredible senses. For instance her work ‘Elephant V’ shows only the very thin furry hairs that cover the skin, the folded ear and its incredible size. How sensitive it must be! She makes us aware to the fact that the elephants live in a world of their own. Additionally the elephants of Charlotte Dumas evoke compassion, precisely because we can not see them in their entirety.

Charlotte Dumas’ series ‘Entendue’ that involves eight elephants will be presented by FLAT // LAND at upcoming art fair Paris Photo.

























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