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Deconstructing the animal in search of the real

By G. Aloi

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This paper looks at the past ten years of art practice informed by the human–animal studies agenda in order to assess what has been thus far achieved and which issues may become central to the future artistic debate. It is divided into two main sections: the first takes into consideration four pivotal works of art produced during the past decade in order to focus on the human–animal related concerns art has thus far helped to explore; the second looks at the future, mainly posing key questions about traditional forms of representation, asking what naturalism may or may not have left to offer. “Is there any space for traditional representation in the new and challenging panorama outlined by human–animal studies?” This question is not so much posed in a conservative way, but it instead constitutes an invitation to reconsider the boundaries that may have so far defined the production of art within the remit of human–animal studies. This line of questioning leads to a discussion on the value and essence of the “commonplace” as a productive agent that may in the future play a pivotal role in art for the purpose of making the current discourse accessible to wider audiences.

Date 2012
Publication Title Anthrozoos
Volume 25
Issue Supplement 1
Pages s73-s90
ISBN/ISSN 0892-7936
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.2752/175303712X13353430377057
Language English
Author Address History Department, Arts2, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS,
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal genetics
  2. Anthrozoology
  3. Audiences
  4. Genetically engineered animals
  5. Genetically modified animals
  6. Genetically modified organisms
  7. Genetic engineering
  8. peer-reviewed
  9. practices
  10. Research
  11. spectators
  12. Studies
  13. transgenics
  1. peer-reviewed