HUMAN ANIMAL I. / NEXT OF KIN: APE‒ DOG ‒ CAT
The premiere international exhibition project deals with a human as an integral part of the animal kingdom, from several angles and in relation to cultural and historical development. The works of 19 contemporary authors from 6 countries (PL, CA, FR, USA, DE, ES) reflect not only the coexistence of human and selected animals, but also a significant superstructure within the mythology of the collective subconscious. The exhibition is presented as a part of the dramaturgical cycle The Theme. The exhibition was supported from public sources by Slovak Arts Council.
Darwin's theory of biological evolution, described in On the Origin of Species, 1859, once provoked turbulent public reactions and disputes between scientists and theologians. Although Charles Darwin himself avoided the subject of the development of the human species, it could not be disputed that the theory can be applied to man, which partly shook the anthropocentric principles enshrined in society. The idea of anthropocentrism, which privileges man over other living organisms, is now obsolete and society is moving towards the gradual closing of the gap between man and animal by emphasizing the connection of all living organisms. Confrontation and interaction with non-human animals have shaped our way of thinking, our aesthetics and technology. Last but not least, they have influenced culture and language, which is full of metaphors and expressions referring to zoology. Many artists identify with animals, which allows them to step out of the usual patterns of thinking and create a new form of esse.
Exhibition Human Animal I. / Next of kin: Ape ‒ Dog ‒ Cat, as the first in a series of exhibitions with an animal theme, reflects the animal nature of man (human animal) and its relationship to three specific animals (non-human animals). While the monkey is closest to us biologically, we "adopted" the dog and the cat into families. Invited domestic and foreign artists from several countries in Europe and the USA respond to the topic through a wide range of media from drawing, through painting and photography to sculpture and video. In their works, they examine the coexistence of man and selected animals, assign human roles to the animal by referring to character properties, or depict man as a half-animal, thus creating bizarre beings with a tradition rooted in the mythology of the collective subconscious. Given the impossibility of emerging from our (human) perspective, we must admit that the meaning or symbol assigned to animals takes place through a characteristic in human terms, without knowing the animal reality. The works say little about the animals themselves, but a lot about our relationship with them.
Author and curator of the exhibition: Mgr. art. Katarina Balunová, ArtD. – GSA
Production cooperation: Mgr. Lenka Králová – GSA
Graphics: Mgr. art. Ivana Babejová, ArtD. – GSA