Pets, Beasts & Dinner
From the beginning of human image-making, animals have been pictured as fearsome others, as field laborers, bold steeds and barnyard denizens, as household members and as violently-killed, furry corpses in tabletop jumbles awaiting the fire. Contemporary artists play off these tropes, but in ways that display current scientific and public tendencies toward a reconceptualization of animals, humanizing them, representing them as intelligent companions who look and behave like us, and as victims of environmental change, pollution and industrial food production. These artists’ images evoke a porousness of the human/animal distinction and the ongoing reconceptualization of it as a continuum, prompting moral questions of human obligations toward the nonhuman world.
– Dr. Suzaan Boettger, Curator