Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek
We can say with certainty that cats do not possess the power to fly… but they can jump very well indeed. In Jumping Cats, the latest series from Austria-based photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, cats are caught airborne, frozen mid-flight in a high leap by a hard flash. While their mysterious suspension and the lighting lends itself towards a feeling of supernatural intervention, the lack of panicked expression on the cats’ faces assures us that they’ve got things under control.
Photographed in various mundane household settings, we see the house cats in their natural habitats, masters of their domain. While Dottie, a striped and fluffy tabby cat, leaps over the kitchen table, Yuri the Siamese cat bounds around the door frame. Renowned for their agility in landing on all four feet, regardless of the terms of conditions of their fall, the cats are shown here in a way that allows us to admire them just as we do gymnasts: from one leap to the next, we can watch with fascination the contortions of their bodies as they negotiate with gravity.
Gebhart de Koekkoek has published his jumping cats as a ‘calendar’, which is to say the images are printed in a calendar format, with each month’s name and number of days printed on it, for example, “January is the first month of the year and has thirty-one days. Those are slippery times.” Since the images are printed full-page, with only this text overlaid, we avoid the pesky problem of the date being matched to a day of the week, thereby making Jumping Cats a calendar that never expires.