Fear No More
WORDS BY Emma Guthrie
When it comes to phobias, it is rarely a fear of dogs that comes to mind. One is far more likely to shudder at the thought of a hairy spider or venom-spitting snake than an adorable doe-eyed puppy dog. However, in reality, many people are affected by cynophobia (an extreme fear of dogs), and Madrid-based Amparo Garrido is one of them. Or at least she was.
Some 15 years ago, in an effort to understand her fear, Garrido delved into the world of psychoanalysis, and discovered that dogs were simply the trigger for other personal issues she had within herself. To embrace this discovery and her newfound admiration for psychoanalysis, Garrido created the photographic series Concerning Dogs, the Gaze, and the Desire, depicting various canine breeds staring deep into the lens and through to the voyeurs’ consciousness.
Taken over two years from 1996-1998, these portraits “are not a frivolous series” says Garrido, but rather a collection inviting viewers “to look beyond surfaces and not be taken in by mere appearances.” Here disgruntled bulldogs, woeful cocker spaniels, and wise old schnauzers dare you to look at them and feel something beyond admiration for a pretty picture.
In order to move on in her artistic career, Garrido felt it time to tie up loose ends with her old project, and finally have it published into a book that merges the best of her work as a younger recently-healed photographer; with new images taken by her matured, phobia-free self.
To make her dream a reality, Garrido has enlisted the help of the general public with a fundraising project at Ulule, where she will reward financiers in various ways depending on their support. The book will be called I Am You and will continue to explore aspects of subjectivity and its impact on the human psyche. It will also include written observations from Garrido herself, professional psychoanalyst Jorge Camón and Spanish contemporary art curator Rafael Doctor.
While the portrait style of the newer photographs will remain similar to the originals, they will now be produced in colour, and the feeling of the work is slightly different, inline with Garrido’s new frame of mind. It’s a new take on an interesting theme and one we hope will have its time in the spotlight.
For more information on how to donate to the project click here
Tags Amparo Garrido, Black&White, Book, Collection, Community, Culture, Cynophobia, Editorial, Photography, Portrait