Elephant in the Room with Michelle Wilson

  • Thursday, April 28, 2016
  • 6:30pm – 8:00pm
  • The Royal Canadian Legion, 227 McDermot Ave

From the caves at Lascaux to the Venice Biennale, animal imagery has dominated art throughout time. This trend has morphed of late, not simply using the animal image, but using the animal itself in the artist’s practice. Are animals used merely as another passive medium, or is art being utilized to explore complex relationships? What are the obligations of the artist in creating these new relational works? As an entrance into these topics we will discuss Dawn Prince’s article The Silence Between, which introduces ideas of non-literal languages and potential connections to those who are presumed silent.

Reading: Cultural Commentary: The Silence Between: http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/1055/1242

The complicated relationship between animals and art

What I learned from Tickling Apes

Some artworks to consider:

Joanne Bristol on her multi-species relational works: https://vimeo.com/33361185
Kathy High’s work with transgenic rats: http://kathyhigh.com/project-embracing-animal.html

Eduardo Kac’s description of his transgenic bunny project: http://www.ekac.org/gfpbunny.html#gfpbunnyanchor

Joseph Beuys’ 1974 “social sculpture” I love America and America loves me in which he lived for two weeks with a coyote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5UXAqpSJDk

Free! All are welcome!

  • Originally a photo-based artist, Michelle Wilson has expanded her practice to incorporate sculpture, textile, relational and text-based works. Wilson received her BFA from the University of Ottawa in 2005, and graduated with highest honours from the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa in 2008. She recently defended her thesis, ANIMA: Visual Art as a Vehicle for Exploring Other Modes of Relatedness, and graduated from the MFA program at the University of Manitoba in the fall of 2015. She is currently a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba in addition to teaching at Art City and the WAG Studio.