CURATOR'S SELECTION: ANIMALIA
The Curator's Selection for November/December focuses on our fraught relationship with the animal kingdom. Human fascination with animals has long been a subject of art, dating back to the prehistoric cave paintings of Altamira. Whether domesticated or exotic, artists have employed animals as symbols to enrich works with specific political, social or emotional gravitas. While it's undeniable that animals of all varieties are a source of intrigue and adoration, our continued destruction of their eco-systems has pushed kingdom Animalia towards extinction. The World Wildlife Fund's Living Planet Report 2020 issued last month indicated that over consumption of natural resources and excessive greenhouse gas admissions has caused an irreversible decline in the animal population. The report revealed a staggering decline of 68% of the 4,400 species monitored over the last 50 years. To call the conditions dire would be an understatement.
What would our world be without an animal population? It's impossible to imagine. Works by Jill Greenberg, Michelle Nguyen, Richard Barnes and Casey McGlynn utilize animals to communicate the purity of emotion and our interconnectedness. Their bodies, faces and expressions become mirrors on to ourselves and offer a timely critique of our own behavioral patterns that have threatened their existence.