Cass Fine Art: Lecture by Steve Baker
What makes contemporary art about animals “contemporary”? How easy is it to maintain a cutting edge, a critical engagement with the forms of current art practice, at the same time as attending to the condition of nonhuman animals? The stakes are high, because contemporary animal imagery that fails to signal its contemporaneity will struggle to reach beyond a small audience already engaged by its subject matter but largely oblivious to its form - its work - as art. What are the aesthetic, rhetorical, pictorial and curatorial strategies that might take forwards the political project of presenting the “contemporary” animal, and perhaps also of addressing its own implication in the manner of its presentation.
Steve Baker writes about contemporary artists’ engagement with questions of animal life. He is Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Central Lancashire, and his books include Artist|Animal and The Postmodern Animal. His artwork was included in the recent exhibitions Ecce Animalia (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, Poland, 2014) and Arche Noah (Museum Ostwall, Germany, 2014-15), and has also been shown in the UK, USA and Australia.
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