Arts Desk

Reviewed: Roberto Dutesco at the Embassy of Canada

Roberto Dutesco’s photographic project, the Wild Horses of Sable Island, seems ridiculously improbable, yet it’s for real. Sable Island is located far off the coast of Nova Scotia—an uninhabited, narrow, windswept crescent of sand located in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” where hundreds of ships have gone down. A feral colony of 400 horses survives there; according to legend, they were left there by shipwrecks, but that’s been disputed. But however they got there, the colony now survives on seagrass and scarce supplies fresh water. Dutesco has made multiple trips to the island, producing shiny, Plexiglas-surfaced works, sometimes in monumental sizes of 8’ x 12’. Unrepentantly environmental-minded – they are even part of an eco-friendly traveling museum project — Dutesco needlessly tugs at the heartstrings in a couple of images in which the horses nuzzle anthropomorphically. More compelling are the photographs that linger on the animals’ matted and frizzed manes, which suggest a roughness one does not typically associate with these most carefully manicured of all domesticated animals.

At the Embassy of Canada, 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. Mon-Fri 9-5.

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