Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nathalie Djurberg's "Snakes Know It's Yoga"


'Animals often pair up with humans in Nathalie Djurberg’s Claymation videos, so it wasn’t a surprise to see a blue snake bat yellow goo-goo eyes at a naked yogi in the Swedish-born artist’s latest work, “Snakes Know It’s Yoga” ... a storeroom full of animal bones was appropriate for an artist whose territory lies somewhere between the grotesques of Goya and the darker regions of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. / On the largest of four screens placed among display cases full of skulls, the adoring serpent catapulted the startled yogi into comical yoga poses, then tore at the man’s flesh, contorting his dismembered limbs into a distended figure out of a Salvador DalĂ­ painting. / The video was pure Djurberg, whose twisted scenarios tend to begin with fairy-tale sweetness and dissolve into grisly sadism.' [Linda Yablonsky at]

Paul Chan's My Birds…trash… the future

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chris Jordan's albatross photos at SJMA


These photos are on view at San Jose Museum of Art -- just saw them a few days ago... 'The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking. To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way (' An article and video is at, and Chris Jordan's TED talk is on youtube.

Institute of Critical Zoologists: It 'aims to develop a critical approach to the zoological gaze, or how humans view animals. ... Animals convey meaning and values that are culture-specific, and in viewing the animal, we cannot escape the cultural context, political climate and social values in which that observation takes place. ... We seek to develop a Critical Zoological Gaze that pursues creative, interdisciplinary research that includes perspectives typically ignored by animal studies, such as aesthetics; and to advance unconventional, even radical, means of understanding human and animal relations. The institute also discourages anthropomorphism in the appreciation and understanding of zoology.' []