A new exhibition at Arizona State University’s Northlight Gallery explores hunting culture through the work of ten contemporary photographers. The show, “Take/Aim,” which was curated by William LeGoullon, includes the work of Andrea Tese, Brian Lesteberg, Brooks Dierdorff, Dave Imms, Erika Larsen, Jason Vaughn, Jesse Burke, Joe Mannino, Jordan Baumgarten and Michael Tummings.
Hunting occupies a complex place in human society at a time when more of us live in cities than in rural areas, LeGoullon notes in his curatorial statement. Despite our lack of connection to wild places, “we continue to insist that we are the guardians and stewards of the land,” LeGoullon writes. People hunt for myriad reasons—for food, for sport, out of the desire for self-sufficiency, or for want of connection to the natural world. Each of the photographers in the exhibition has explored hunting from a different perspective—some sympathetic, others critical. Their work illustrates “opinions as diverse in range as the attitudes and beliefs shared between hunters,” LeGuollon explains.
One of Larsen’s images depicts a dead buck, its head submerged just below the surface of a watering hole. Vaughn’s photographs are from his “hide” series, a typology of deer stands built by hunters in Wisconsin. In an image by Tese, a hunting dog sits alert, its white face pink with blood. A photograph by Tummings shows a pair of Bavarian hunters dressed in traditional clothing walking a path through a forest.
“Hunting expresses both an opposition to and an integration with nature all at the same time,” LeGoullon notes, and the work of the artists in this exhibition analyze some of that apparent contradiction.
“Take/Aim,” which is organized in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Northlight Gallery and The Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA), opens Friday, October 21, and runs through December 2.