Part of Summer 2010
A co-presentation with The Power Plant
Co-presented with The Power Plant, this screening examines the playful and perverse forms of mimicry that complicate distinctions between human and non-human animals. In the twenty-first century, the limits between human and non-human animals are collapsing, thanks to ecological devastation, genetic research and interspecies plagues, among other phenomena. Consequently, the dynamic in visual culture between anthropomorphism and zoomorphism — the investment of human qualities in animals and vice versa — has become more and more complex and fraught. Increasingly we project the most eccentric human qualities onto animals, and then try to explain our species’ own bizarre behaviour through reference to their “natural” ones. The result is a messy kind of inter-species drag.
Spanning over a century of moving images, and drawing on scientific and novelty films as well as recent international video work by a range of contemporary artists, the program features a strange parade of performing insects, Frankenstein animal-human hybrids, mother-fixated monkeys, spooked sheep, and nauseous cats (and their existentially troubled keepers).
Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, When the Day Breaks, 1999, 10 min, Canada
Kathy High, selections from Everyday Problems of the Living, 2000, 23 min., USA
Guy Ben-Ner, Second Nature, 2008, 10:00 min, Israel
Steve Reinke and Jessie Mott, Everybody, 2009, 4:00 min., USA
Kristin Lucas, Smaller and Easier to Handle, 2003, 7 min, USA
Douglas Gordon, The Right to Not Be Tortured, 2010, 10:00 min, UK
Note: Members of The Power Plant get in for the Pleasure Dome Members’ price of $5.