Photographer Simen Johan Explores Uneasy Connections Between Humans and Animals

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NASHVILLE, TENN.- The Frist Center’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery will feature Simen Johan: Until the Kingdom Comes, comprising nine large-scale digital photographs and three sculptures. The exhibition opens Feb. 20, 2011, and will remain on view through May 29, 2011. Often showing wild animals in natural settings, Johan’s photographs may seem like National Geographic idylls writ gloriously large. Yet while appearing to be straightforward documents of nature, the works have an underlying allegorical content. The majestic creatures seem to occupy the titular “kingdom,” an ideal place where desires will be fulfilled and life’s dilemmas resolved. But contained within each image are imperfections that bring this utopic implication back to reality. For every photograph of graceful creatures and pristine landscapes, there are portrayals of animals showing pain, fear or exhaustion in landsc