Saturday, January 9, 2010
Becoming Animal: Patricia Piccinini, Motohiko Odani
Image: Patricia Piccinini's life-like sculpture
Images: Video stills from Motohiko Odani's Rompers
'In Becoming Animal, 12 internationally known artists investigate the shifting boundaries between animal and human. ... The works included in Becoming Animal—which accompanies an exhibit at MASS MoCA—range from the aviary and cabinet of curiosities of Mark Dion to the gun-toting bird collages of Michael Oatman. Nicolas Lampert's machine-animal collages and Jane Alexander's corpse-like humanoids suggest a new landscape of alienation. Rachel Berwick's investigation of the last Galapagos tortoise from the island of Pinto and Brian Conley's humanized mating call of the Tungara frog question the divide between human and animal communication. Patricia Piccinini imagines a bodyguard for a bird on the edge of extinction and Ann-Sofi Siden recreates the bedroom—and paranoia—of psychologist Alice Fabian. Natalie Jeremijenko presents another installment in her ongoing Ooz, reverse-engineering the zoo, and Kathy High's installation of "trans-animals" remembers lab rats who have given their lives for science. Sam Easterson's videos allow us to see from the viewpoint of an aardvark, a tarantula, a tumbleweed; Motohiko Odani's films show a surrealistic genetically modified bestiary. Becoming Animal documents these works with eye-popping full-color images, taking us on a visual journey through an unknown world.'
Nato Thompson, editor. Becoming Animal (catalog to Mass MOCA exhibit). Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005. <mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=10590>