Jana Lange’s Anima is a series about the being–the human being and the animal being. Lange states that the project is “a rethinking in the way we perceive animals and in the way we perceive ourselves in the world (as being a small part of the world).” She also writes, “I try to see the animal as an animal and to understand me as being part of its reality. I am also seen and perceived by the animal in its own way.”

Lange also has an ongoing project called Once Upon a Time, which explores the origin of the relationship between human and animal, specifically, humans and wolves. Instigated after a three-month visit to a wolf science center in Austria, the series aims to delve into our deep shared history. I am excited to see the group of images develop.

From Lange’s statement on Once Upon a Time: The wolf is an animal that has inspired our imagination like no other. Countless legends, myths and fairy tales revolve around wolves. In many parts of the world, wolves were persecuted to extinction. It is worth noting however that in former times wolves became man’s best friend. Next to humans, wolves once had the largest natural geographical range of all mammalian species. The wolf triggers both fear and fascination at the same time. Indigenous people have worshiped him as a totem, as the origin of human existence. Wolves were admired and revered for their strength, their courage and their clever way of hunting. In ancient times, the Romans considered them as symbols of sacrifice and motherhood. Indeed, it was a wolf who raised the city‘s two founders Romulus and Remus.

However, later in the Middle Ages farmers regarded wolves as wild beasts. For the privileged they became highly coveted trophies. Later they became the epitome of an unspoiled life in an untouched nature. The wolf as a beacon of hope. Wherever he enters, nature seems to be intact. For more than 60,000 years humans and wolves lived together. A shared history from which the dogs finally evolved. They became constant companions of man. They have influenced our culture, they live in our culture, they live in our family, they became part of our family.

Visit artist's site: janalange.com