Past Exhibitions
Past Exhibitions
ANIMALITY
 
3 November – 17 December, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday 3 November, 6-8pm
 
 
‘The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.’
 ―George Orwell
 
 
The very earliest cave paintings reveal that humans have cohabitated with animals for millennia. Yet the relationship is fraught and contradictory: we simultaneously mythologize, venerate, sacrifice, and exploit those who are not of our species. This paradox suggests that our connection with animals might be more complicated, and far richer, than commonly thought, and that the distinction between human and animal is not at all clear-cut.
 
If animals have been the protagonists of innumerable myths, subject to countless scientific studies, and featured in some of our most extraordinary works of art and literature, why have they not been more central to the way we humans study our own relation to the world?
 
Taking this question as its premise, Animality lays down a novel artistic and theoretical framework for interrogating our relationship to animals. It proposes six interrelated themes—Origins, Markings, Crossings, Variations, Traces, Extinctions—and involves more than seventy participants, mostly from the discipline of art but also from film, literature, philosophy, and science. Its spirited structure juxtaposes artworks and artifacts new and old, high and low, allowing relationships between art and non-art materials to emerge, and creating links between historical and contemporary social and political realities. 
 
While in large part playful and humorous, Animality also stresses the importance of addressing ethical issues, and thinking beyond one’s own values and beliefs, to question accepted assumptions about our relationship to nonhuman creatures. It suggests that while many distinctions between humans and animals are valid, the two groups are more productively imagined as parts of an ontological whole.
 
Animality connects to a larger debate around the so-called animal question that has involved such iconic thinkers as Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Georges Bataille, Emmanuel Levinas, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. Their interrogations around the relationship between animals and humans have inspired a growing contemporary discourse. Animality is conceived in part as a visual contribution to that conversation while also paying, of course, tribute to the diversity and beauty of the animal kingdom. 
 
Jens Hoffmann is a writer and exhibition maker. He currently is Director of Special Exhibitions and Public Programs at The Jewish Museum, New York, Co-Artistic Director of FRONT International: Cleveland Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Senior Curator at the MOCA Detroit.  
 
A fully illustrated catalogue designed by A Practice for Everyday Life will accompany this exhibition.  To commemorate ANIMALITY, Marian Goodman Gallery will sell a limited edition print by George Shiras. 
 
Cast of Creatures
 
Giorgio Agamben 
Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla 
John Baldessari 
Stephan Balkenhol  
Georges Bataille 
Pierre Bismuth 
Cosima von Bonin 
Marcel Broodthaers 
Balthasar Burkhard 
Maurizio Cattelan 
Abraham Cruzvillegas 
Charles Darwin 
Berlinde De Bruyckere 
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari 
Mark Dion 
André Marie Constant Duméril 
Albrecht Dürer 
Elmgreen & Dragset 
Roe Ethridge 
Peter Fischli and David Weiss 
Étienne de Flacourt 
Michel Foucault 
Conrad Gessner 
J. J. Grandville 
João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva 
Ernst Haeckel 
John Halas and Joy Batchelor 
Petrit Halilaj 
Charley Harper 
Carsten Höller 
Roni Horn 
Marine Hugonnier 
Peter Hujar 
Luce Irigaray 
Malia Jensen 
Sarah Jones 
Jamian Juliano-Villani
E’wao Kagoshima 
Karen Kilimnik 
Louise Lawler 
Jochen Lempert 
Emmanuel Levinas 
Klara Liden 
Carl von Linné 
Robert Longo 
Steve McQueen 
Maria Sibylla Merian 
Annette Messager 
Eadweard Muybridge 
Friedrich Nietzsche 
Gabriel Orozco 
George Orwell 
Jean Painlevé 
Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa 
Louis Renard 
Henri Rousseau 
Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber 
Albertus Seba 
Wael Shawky  
George Shiras 
Yinka Shonibare 
Taryn Simon 
Hiroshi Sugimoto 
Emily Sundblad 
Adrián Villar Rojas 
Danh Vō 
Peter Wächtler 
William Wegman 
Franz West 
Harrison Weir 
Alexander Wilson 
Jordan Wolfson 
Cerith Wyn Evans 
Jakub Julian Ziolkowski
 
 
 
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