(Leipzig, Germany, 1981)
The human being is an animal that does not recognise itself as such. It looks in the mirror and does not see itself. It always believes itself to be something more: a being with a spirit as well as its materiality. Perhaps that is why the philosopher Markus Gabriel says that we never fully fit into nature. We contrast our artificial habitat, the city (from civis, the word which also gives us terms like civilisation and civility) with the natural habitat, the wild world.
Our distancing ourselves from nature is the cause of today's environmental problems. The trace left by humans on Earth was practically insignificant until the arrival of industrial societies, when we became a geological force that is transforming our planet. A new geological era that we are beginning to call the Anthropocene. However, we do not realise any of this, because we live in isolation from nature and do not feel part of it.
In his work ‘Natural encounters’, the photographer, designer, editor and curator Calin Kruse presents images of wild animals alternating with dreamlike or nightmarish landscapes with details of faces and bodies in the foreground to attract the spectator to observe nature directly.
Although all species can – at least in theory – adapt to or benefit from human settlements, the approach of wild animals to human populations cause mistrust and fear. Generally speaking, the only “natural encounters” between humans and animals occur when the latter are in captivity or are run over.
This walk on the wild side takes the shape of a rollercoaster ride through moods and feelings of anticipation, anxiety, fear, surprise, delight and liberation.