Published by The Ice Plant. Text by Simone van Saarloos.
In November 2014, photographer Charlotte Dumas (born 1977)— author of the acclaimed Retreived, among other photobooks—began photographing the eight native horse breeds of Japan. Once necessary for farming and transportation, most of these indigenous breeds have lost their practical purpose and have declined in number. As some of the breeds are confined to small islands, many of the horses have never been able to migrate and their future existence is now uncertain. In some cases, these near-mythical animals have become symbolic of their place, like the Yonaguni horse, which—together with the world’s largest moth and the marlin—is depicted on the manhole covers of this remote island. Each breed seems to unlock a history of its location and a story about the people who share its territory. This limited-edition artist’s book, documenting Dumas’ project to date, portrays horses from the islands of Yonaguni, Miyakojima, Nagano and Hokkaido.
Immediately following the attacks of 9/11, nearly 100 trained search dogs and their handlers were deployed by FEMA to assist in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Enlisted from a network of 26 task forces in 18 states around the U.S., the dogs worked around the clock to locate survivors in the rubble, alongside firemen and other teams sorting through the debris. One decade later, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas succeeded in tracking down 15 of the surviving dogs that took part in these rescue operations, visiting and photographing the dogs at their homes throughout the U.S., where they all still lived with their handlers. Composed at close range in natural light, Dumas' powerful portraits--reproduced here in a thoughtfully designed paperback volume with Japanese binding--offer an intimate view into the everyday lives of these highly specialized working animals, now sharing the vulnerability of old age as they once pursued a common heroic goal.