Artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, who you might remember won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize back in 2013, are publishing their first children’s book with Tate. Humans and Other Animals is a playful A-Z in sign language that attempts to inspire young readers “to listen with their eyes.” By bringing together pairs of black and white photographs taken by the duo and images they’ve chosen from the inexhaustible Getty Archive, bright graphics and rhyming couplets spread across pages, the artists use the book to explore the relationship between text and image.
Produced in collaboration with the staff and students of London’s Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children, the project is also about visual literacy and heightening our senses. “Signing is unique,” Broomberg and Chanarin explain. “Its vocabulary and grammar are constructed in physical space and the deaf are, unsurprisingly, much better at processing visual information than the rest of us. Sign language is ideal for teaching children something about how to look and understand the visual world”.