Art; artistic research; and the animal question

Helena Pedersen
Lärarutbildningen, Malmö högskola, Sweden

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Ingår i: Kultur~Natur

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 40:4, s. 25-31

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Publicerad: 2009-10-26


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Recent developments in cultural studies and other areas of the humanities and social sciences point to an ‘animal turn’; an increasing interest in posthumanist; non-anthropocentric approaches toward exploring the multiple roles and meanings of animals in human lifeworlds. This paper focuses on areas of contemporary art that place ‘the question of the animal’ centrally and engage in the practice of human-animal boundary work; identity production; and meaning. By addressing a number of animal art projects employing a diversity of visual and material approaches and techniques; from Joseph Beuys’s Coyote (1974) to Eduardo Kac’s GFP Bunny (2000); the paper discusses what it means to reclaim the presence; visibility; and agency of animals in art and artistic research. By the concept of zooësis; artistic space is carved out for human-animal relationalities to be critically interrogated and re-conceptualized; and the ontological security of “the human” to become disturbed.

This paper draws on an article with the same title by Helena Pedersen & Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir; published in ArtMonitor; No. 3; 200


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