An exhibition of 25 photographs by Dick Blau, from the book Elephant House (Penn State U Press, 2015), his collaboration with historian of the zoo, Nigel Rothfels.
Exhibition has been extended through
Sunday, February 26
Dick Blau is a photographer and filmmaker and co-founder of the internationally acclaimed UWM Department of Film. Working with anthropologist colleagues, he is the author of Skyros Carnival, Bright Balkan Morning, Polka Happiness, and Polka Heartland, four photo-ethnographies that explore the transformative power of music and dance in three different cultures.
On Elephant House
In Elephant House, photographer Dick Blau and historian Nigel Rothfels offer a thought-provoking study of the Oregon Zoo’s Asian Elephant Building and the daily routines of its residents—human and pachyderm alike. Without an agenda beyond wanting to build a deeper understanding of this enigmatic environment, Elephant House is the result of a unique collaboration between an artist and an historian exploring the relationships between captive elephants and their human caregivers.
Blau’s evocative photographs are complex and challenging, while Rothfels’ text offers a scholarly and personal response to the vexing questions of elephants and captivity. Elephant House does not take sides in the debate over zoos, but focuses on the bonds of attentiveness between the animals and their keepers. Accompanied by a foreword from retired elephant keeper Mike Keele, Elephant House is a frank, fascinating look at the evolving world of elephant husbandry.