a sequence of computer drawings from the series Philozoe by Farangis Yegane, 1997
They hunt birds for their eggs.)
And seek to control them in the air too.)
They domesticate them; especially the birds that don’t fly.)
Next, they hunt the deer.)
Domesticate big mammals.)
Pesi Girsch aestheticises the corpses of dead animals on some of her photography.
http://members.tripod.com/pesi_girsch/stillalife.htm (accessed 23rd April 08 )
On her bio she portrays herself with a baby kitten nevertheless: http://members.tripod.com/pesi_girsch/bio.htm (accessed 23rd April 08 ), so one can assume that she sees some qualitative difference between being amongst the living or being amongst the (I assume) somehow made-to-be-dead. I guess I rightly assume that the ducks and the weasel type of animal on the dead animal photos of hers, did not die from natural causes.
One could say that it gives the dead animal a dignity to be draped into becoming a display for a photo taken by a human for them animals to look aesthetical while dead. But I wouldn’t agree with that. I see a type of typical encryption here, which turns art into a tool for viewing the real with the specific attempt to find an objective standpoint, instead of arts as a way to only relate to the real in a subjective way, which would put an emphasis on a more free and autonomous thinking.
Why does the arranged corpse of an individual animal has to become an object of a photo?
Why are the dead animals displayed in a sterile, soft and clean – a seemingly peaceful or mute – context on Peri Girsch’s photos, when the real death of the animals had – and this is my assumption – been taking place in a wholly different context that preceded this type of setting.
What matters to me is the perspective of the animals, and I automatically imagine that they didn’t want to die through the hands of humans (the photos leave it factually unclarified how the animals came to death). The set up encryption subtly suggests that I need not care about these individual animals as a viewer. That they only matter now that they have been given a meaning in an anthropocentric context.
Both is depressing: the imagination of the death and seeing the animals displayed in this way of peaceful, aestheticized “bizarreness” on the photos. Worst of all is to imagine that the lives, i.e. the form of existence of beings other than humans, doesn’t matter as lives to the photographer. Pesi Girsch arranges the condition of being dead in these animals in a way that is demeaning to their selfness and to their otherness from us.
Who cares about what life?
Nonhuman animal life becoming a part of yet another supposedly ethical environmental arts project.
Insa Winkler: The Acorn Pig …
Growing and growing up http://www.insawinkler.de/files/index_E.php?id=98
Can one really underlie nohuman animal life – or (might aswell) human life – the understanding of ethics and of arts that anybody might hold on a shared common level or individually?
I don’t think so, you can’t simply decide yourself about what is ethcially ok if another being is affected in any way. Where you draw the line is up to your moral standards, but everybody will eventually draw a line somehwere where she or he feels the ethical borderline is being crossed.
A hypothetical reply to the animal protectionist friends ragarding sustainable organic animal farming must also be added in this context, because it’s not just the organic freaks who consider a change in “raising” and “slaughter methods“ an ethical improvement in animal welfare matters: not all means are ok to reach some supposedly “idealistic” end.
Think about where moral and ethical advancement environmentally lies?
Why it sells?
Troutsite http://www.troutsite.com/art-main.html is a site by an artist who successfully convinces his viewers that he is actually appreciating and probably even “scientifically respecting” nonhuman animals. See artist at: aldrichart.org
Alongside his naturalistic artistic praise of Linnaeus’s taxonomic system (the man who came up with the category “Homo sapiens” …) the artist sells the viewer something “real”: namely dead animals. The artist sells death, in other words – a taxonomic necessity, and necrophilia sells cos it’s being bought.
Linnaeus’s idea of a “homo sapiens” is not just what falls under the term speciesist, it is also racist (Scientific Racism), see for example this interesting article:
‘Scientific Racism’ in Enlightened Europe: Linnaeus, Darwin, and Galton by Shah Aashna Hossain http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1852
“…Before Linnaeus proposed the ideas mentioned above [...], ‘race’ had been used to distinguish between different nationalities. But after he proposed the system above, Europeans began to identify themselves with a larger group: ‘white” people.’”