International 2012 Archives
Twenty artists delve into the relationship between humans and animals. Some fifty works that are bound to spark a highly topical discussion of the human-
Through their works, the artists explore the tremendous variety of connections that exist between humans and animals, and broach the issue within a very broad perspective. Some artists use this relationship to explore cultural representations, reinterpret anthropological stereotypes or highlight the notion—still very commonly held—of the primacy of humankind. Others focus on the collection, classification, and exhibition methods that are characteristic of both museums and zoos, which share a similar way of understanding and organizing the world. Yet other artists employ spaces or metaphors that open up to other dualities or areas of conflict. Today, we cannot speak of animals, or of animality, without speaking of our relationship to them and, more broadly, our relationship to the Other.
Multiple approaches to the same theme: the artists in Zoo
The artists taking part in Zoo are: Ai Weiwei, David Altmejd, Shary Boyle, Mark Dion, Nathalie Djurberg, Jason Dodge, Trevor Gould, Renée Green, Rachel Harrison, Mona Hatoum, Pierre Huyghe, Matthew Day Jackson, Brian Jungen, Liz Magor, Ugo Rondinone, Kevin Schmidt, David Shrigley, Kiki Smith, Haim Steinbach, and Jana Sterbak.
Among the major works—some of them brand-
Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold (2010) by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, is a remarkable work being shown here for the first time in Canada. It is a reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads, representing the traditional Chinese zodiac, that used to adorn the famous water clock at the imperial gardens of Yuanming Yuan in Beijing.
Produced specially for the exhibition Zoo, David Altmejd's Le Spectre et la Main (2012) takes up elements typically used by this artist and applies them like a leitmotiv. The work suggests a vivarium of surprising size that interweaves a multitude of threads introducing the idea of movement and perpetual metamorphosis.
Also worthy of mention is a large-
Finally, Chair Apollinaire, by Jana Sterbak, is a "club" chair made of meat. Its presentation at the MAC is a Canadian premiere.
Exhibition May 24 -
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