[ExI] [wta-talk] Next Nature

nvitamore at austin.rr.com nvitamore at austin.rr.com
Tue May 20 21:06:15 UTC 2008

From: John Grigg 

>So if I understand correctly, she did not actually kill her cat,
>because this was a mockumentary/fake documentary?  And so her cat had
>actually died of natural causes?  I looked at her website but many of
>the photo links regarding this were not functional.  I got the
>impression from her website that she uses edgy artistic endeavors like
>this to make statements about how people need to be more aware of
>animal cruelty.

Katinka Simonse is concerned with "... the issues of contemporary populist
movements, including animal rights activism, and their strategies.
Hypocrisy within these movements and discourses is the main focus point of
her work."  This is a good research topic.  However, I find that Simonse,
like many bioartists, promote their ideology in making broard assumptions
and generalizations. But she is not alone in this. Many artists have and
continue to find fault with modern sodicety and  damn anyone who looks like
a consumer.  For example, according to Simonse, "[t]he pet is developing
from 'man's best friend' into a completely commodified article of
consumption and the way in which the animal will fit its (future) urban
environment. Hypoallergenic cats and phospholuminescent fish are just some
of the tragic examples of this process."

I have three animal companison I adore and are my family.  Yes, my dog is
one of my best friends, and I feel privilged to enjoy such a close and
loving relationship. 

Now, let me say that I think it is vastly important to criticize society
and the fact that there is such an imbalance in the world and there is a
massive need for solutions to the problems of hunger, disease, war,
violence.  I'm not sure that the pet consumer actually deserves so much
ridicule in light the issues illustrating the bigger global picture.  

>In some ways this reminds me of the science museum tour of plasticized
>human bodies that are put in various everyday poses.  On a news
>program they discussed how some of the bodies had been obtained from
>disreputable sources in China and in life they had been prisoners.


I am very familiar with Von Hagen's amazing "body" of work.  And yes, you
are right that there may be some question as to how he obtains his dead


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