ANIMUS ANIMALIS (A STORY ABOUT PEOPLE, ANIMALS AND THINGS) /
ANIMUS ANIMALIS (A STORY ABOUT PEOPLE, ANIMALS AND THINGS)
The animals hunted in the snowy forests of Lithuania do not end their lives there. The moment the bullet exits the barrel is the beginning of their second, near-mystical life cycle, in which stuffed deer, gazelles, boars, birds, and raccoons are ritualistically put on display and even returned to the forest. The community of hunters and taxidermists skirts the boundary between life and death. In a place where even the church is decorated with countless pairs of antlers, and where toddlers curl up in furs without a second thought, hunting is seen as a way to express man’s admiration of nature, his worship of animals, and his need to surround himself with them. Requiring expertise, precision, and love for animals, the complicated process of taxidermy is a ritualistic attempt to create them anew.