© 2019 Anna Van Lenten

Canine Kingdom / Landon Nordeman

March 2014

Exhibit opening, screening, & talk
Wednesday March 12, 2014, 7:30 PM
Moderated by curator Elisabeth Biondi

The photographs on exhibit here, from Landon Nordeman's Canine Kingdom project, sample ten years of his documenting the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the World Dog Show, the Romanian Kennel Club Dog Show, & other dog events ancillary to these contests. (All over the world, in any given week, dog shows are underway. Westminster, which in 2014 marked its 138th year, is the most important—the equivalent of the Superbowl for dogs.)

 

For the most part, Landon takes the p.o.v. either of dogs on the floor, or dogs in their owners’ arms and laps. In doing so, color becomes another voice and composition another animating spirit. If a human face gets into the frame, it’s far away or cropped. Yet, rather than obscuring the human element, his approach elicits the intense bond between the two species, with each adapting to the other. The resulting images are sophisticated and witty.

 

What began for Landon as an assignment in 2004 is now a multi-layered study, not only of dogs as subjects, but owners, trainers, & judges as subjects.“Dog people,” he says, “are just like other groups of people who love like crazy the thing they love. Just like golfers, football fans, or baseball fans, etc. The difference is that the dogs themselves are inherently funny. They have their own personalities. So the juxtaposition is what intrigues me. I often wonder, How does the dog feel?"

~ Anna Van Lenten