Beastly

Arletta: What does it mean, being an animal? Acting beastly? What is an animal? What does an animal want?

Ellington: Eat, sleep, multiply. Is there any more?

Arletta: Life itself – what’s that for the animal?

Jackdaw at the Botanical Gardens in Gothenburg June 2012

Arletta: What is it like being a jackdaw?

Ellington: What’s on her mind?

Magpie in Älvängen November 2017

Arletta: What’s life about for a magpie in November?

Woman in Dalsland, October 2017

Ellington: What’s life about for a woman in October? And what does the animal in her want? We are mammals, however. Is that what you mean?

Arletta: The human beast.

Ellington: I don’t think we should imagine animals as having the same feelings as we humans. Like love and hatred.

Arletta: No, but we are animals. And I think we need to practise accepting and understanding that.

Ellington: So what does the animal in us want? Eat, sleep, multiply. Is there any more?

Arletta: Do you really know the animal within?

Ellington: Do I? The animal in me.

Arletta: I’m friends with the animal in me. Are you?

Black-headed gull in Umeå, July 2012 (photo Ellington)

Ellington: The beast in me, is it friendly minded?

Badger at the mountain of Babels Torn, Dals Långed, July 2012 (photo Ellington)

Arletta: Are you maybe a badger? Among other things.

Horse rolling, August 2014 (Photo Ellington)

Ellington: And horses? When they roll over on their backs. Is that a sort of beastly pleasure?

Arletta: Is it really? Beastly?

Ellington: This horse. Does it want anything more than eating, sleeping and multiplying?

Arletta: Don’t you think so?

Female, Löddeköpinge 2016 (photo Ellington)

Ellington: And by the way – is the human body’s pleasure just human?

Arletta: Our bodies also know something about being a horse. I think so.

Common Swedish forest snail, white variety, Edsleskog June 2015 (photo Ellington)

Ellington: What does a snail know? About beauty and aesthetic pleasure?

Arletta: What do your hands know about aesthetics and beauty. And what do they say about our human and our animal side?

Unidentified insect on blue car roof, Värmlandsnäs 2013 (photo Ellington)

Ellington: Our Animal Side? Do you think that we humans might have an insect anima somewhere in our biological structure?

Middle-aged woman in St. Petersburg, 2017 (photo: Linda Luhse)

Arletta: Do I? Have an insect anima in my body?

Female, 53, Skåne 2017 (photo Ellington)

Ellington: An insect anima? The animal in me – what does it say?

Arletta: Can you hear it?

Ellington: … I’m listening …