How do humans and animals relate to each other? In The Arts Catalysts
Interspecies exhibition and event, seven international artists have created a range of work that explores this complex relationship. From live experiments that allow visitors to communicate with fish to a video work that explores the age-old affiliation between falconer and falcon, Interspecies brings together a number of artists working with animals and explores the boundaries of our interaction. Curious about the animals point of view, the artists challenge the dominant human viewpoint and aim to work in collaboration with other species.
Performance artist Kira OReilly will take part in a durational performance Falling Asleep with a Pig. Drawing on fairy tales, metamorphosis and the magical intimacy of sleep, the artist will share a living space with a pig for 72 hours. The simple acts of living, sleeping and eating with a different species create an intriguing narrative and suggest a shared experience.
French artist Nicholas Primat worked closely with primates in residencies at zoos and laboratories, spending many months gaining their acceptance. His intuitive video piece, Portrait de Famille, filmed with baboons and spider monkeys, shows a human who had learned how to be fully accepted by another species.
New commissions from The Arts Catalyst include a multi channel video installation by Ruth Maclennan, working with the same falconer in Northumberland as in His Brilliant Eye, and Antony Halls intriguing Enki Experiment 4, showing how humans communicate with electric fish. Rachel Mayeri will show Primate Cinema, a series of filmed works that translate primate social dramas for human audiences. One screen shows footage of the encounters of baboons, whilst another shows a reenactment by actors.
Inspired by US philosopher Donna Haraway and her seminal text Companion Species, Interspecies explores human interaction with animals through a mix of video, performance and experiments. Programmed to coincide with Darwins 200th anniversary, the exhibition is accompanied by free symposia and family events that will question how the arts and sciences approach issues from conservation to animal rights.