Between you, nanoq and me: reflections on the ambition and inadequacies of representation in the prepared skins of animals
570 Life sciences
700 ARTS & RECREATION (collections, philosophy & education)
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AbstractThis workshop will focus on power relations inherent in the technique itself: A precondition of the seeming liveliness of mounted specimens is the attempt to hide the work of the taxidermist. But more importantly this event would like to investigate how the artful arrangement of skin is linked to narratives of colonial supremacy and racial anthropology, to notions of "exploration", "discovery", and classification. It is planned to discuss historical modes of making as well as institutional display or the impact of emerging evolutionary and ecological theories. In this context special attention will be payed to the role artists have been playing since the beginning of the twentieth century in calling attention to the aesthetics and politics of natural history collections. Therefore, contemporary artistic strategies that formulate alternatives to these histories and their practices as well as issues of zoological curation, display and conservation will be considered.
TypeConference or Workshop Item
Snaebjornsdottir, Bryndis and Wilson, Mark (2011) Between you, nanoq and me: reflections on the ambition and inadequacies of representation in the prepared skins of animals. In: Cultures of Preservation : Taxidermy - Animal Skin and Colonial Practice, May 13th 2011, Natural History Museum, London.