Animal Passions are a series of images where Takayama is specifically looking to identify non-human animals as sentient individuals. Our own human experience deludes us into thinking about ourselves in exceptional terms; our conscious self-awareness isolates our perceptions. Wrapped within beliefs that somehow we are a specific creation by a divine superpower, failure to understand ourselves in the context of the animal and natural worlds becomes too easily an intellectual paralysis. Our relationship with non-human life forms is a story of exploitation and the shackling of their individual life experience to our specific needs. This is an allegory of slavery.
Often it is said that the master of slaves can be an emotional prisoner of his own power. When we set ourselves apart from the natural world using the flawed concept of divine preference, we exile ourselves from the experience within the world in which we truly live. Existing inside a myth of paradise we lose the ability to see the awe and beauty of the world around us. We can murder and butcher countless lives in every single second because they simply do not matter to us and we retain our sensitivities by not seeing the dark places where the sight of the slaughter would sicken our souls.
Takayama’s images in Animal Passions release the individual from the herd and allow us to see a being rather than a meal, a slave or a toy. Her purpose is to sponsor a new view in our own minds, a perspective which may lead on to other thoughts or considerations.