I traveled to over seventy zoos in the US and Europe and created a video that weaves together dozens of captive elephants caught in endless stereotypy, in their small enclosures. I then installed and photographed guerrilla public projections of the video in over 100 locations worldwide, conversing—connecting with—passers-by interested in talking with me.
Colleen Plumb makes photographs, videos, and installations investigating systems that perpetuate power imbalance between humans and nonhuman animals. Plumb’s work is held in several permanent collections and has been widely exhibited. Her first photography monograph, Animals Are Outside Today (Radius, 2011) critically documents humans’ ambivalent dispositions towards animals. Plumb’s recent book, Thirty Times a Minute (Radius, 2020), examines the plight of captive elephants with contributing essays by experts working in legal, ethics, and scientific fields. Plumb lives in Chicago and has taught photography and video at Columbia College Chicago since 1999.