Jardin du Bra'haus II
montée du Château
The cow is a well-known figure throughout Europe, yet her real nature remains largely foreign to us.
The cow in a purple outfit is popular, much like the one that laughs - she is associated with fresh pastures and usually kept in the fridge, albeit in pieces only... She represents a consumer product that provides several raw materials: milk, meat, leather... As productive animals, cattle are appreciated for their physical force. When it comes to their ability to think, however, man is more likely to attribute intelligence to a horse than a cow, which is often considered an ordinary, foolish, even stupid animal.
While in faraway countries and cultures, the cow is revered and enjoys the status of a sacred, untouchable animal, the object of deference and veneration still today, most Europeans think of nothing other than food when they see a cow.
Ursula Böhmer has succeeded in expressing in her images the very condition that underlies this entire photography work, i.e. the respect of animals. The photographer has created portraits conveying a dignified objectivity that does not belittle or humanise the animal. She does not lose herself in the play of anthropomorphism and thus tells a story that is both simple and fascinating, namely that of the "cows in Europe".
English translation by Claire Weyland
The series "All Ladies. Kühe in Europa" by Ursula Böhmer is available in a book edited by Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg Berlin 2012.