I know what you're thinking, 2003

Jo Longhurst has spent several years working with British Whippet breeders, photographing their dogs by bloodline, exploring their obsessive quest for the perfect show dog. Despite the wealth of animal imagery in the history of art, animals are rarely, if ever, represented as themselves; animals always appear to stand in for something or someone else, as symbol, metaphor or allegory. Longhurst challenges this precedent. Her work explores the history and practice of photographic portraiture, and the role of the viewer and the subject. Longhurst photographs question ideas of conformity and difference, breeding and eugenics – the search for perfection.