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  • Animality: Animals and Art

Jones, Sarah, 2016, Show, Exhibition or Event, Animality: Animals and Art

Abstract or Description:

Press release extract: Why have animals not been subject of greater interest in contemporary conversations and historical discourses in the arts? With this question as a premise, ANIMALITY examines how an artistic and theoretical impetus might be formed that challenges the way we think about beings that are not of our own species. In its essence, ANIMALITY asks what we as human beings can learn about ourselves when looking at the limitations of our own thinking, with respect to nonhuman animals. The exhibition leads us to reflect on the importance of addressing ethical issues, thinking beyond our own cultures, and questioning accepted assumptions of who we are. ANIMALITY proposes that while some distinctions between humans and animals are valid, the two groups are more productively conceived as parts of an ontological whole. The exhibition unfolds around six themes— Crossings, Extinction, Markings, Origins, Traces and Variations—each introduced by a short wall text guiding the visitor.
ANIMALITY participates in a broader philosophical debate of the past two centuries that includes such thinkers as Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Georges Bataille, Emmanuel Levinas, Gilles Deleuze
and Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault, who has a particular importance to this exhibition. In his groundbreaking 1964 book ‘Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of
Reason’, Foucault connects the idea of human madness with that of animalism. He describes how terms such as ‘wild beasts’, ‘untamed, and ‘frenzied’ have been applied not only to those actually suffering from mental illness, but also to humans from exotic places and cultures that, in the eyes of colonizers, had chosen to live like animals and thus were treated accordingly. ANIMALTY explores clear parallels between Foucault’s idea and our contemporary realities of refugees and immigrants, expanding the dialogue to the larger social and political issues of our time. Contemporary and historical artworks as well
as numerous artifacts are juxtaposed, allowing for relationships between art and non-art materials to emerge, creating strong and provocative links between historical and contemporary realities.

Contributors:
ContributionNameRCA ID
Curator of an exhibitionHoffman, JensUNSPECIFIED
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W600 Cinematics and Photography > W640 Photography
School or Centre: Research Hubs > Image and Language
School of Fine Art
Funders: Marian Goodman Gallery, London
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2016 13:07
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2016 13:07
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1904

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