This talk was recorded at the Institute for Critical Animal Studies Oceania 2016 Conference in Canberra. You can find out more information about this conference here: http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/oceania-conference/
The Q and A featured after Shan’s talk features both questions for Shan, as well as for Nicole Goodwin. You can listen to Nicole’s talk here: https://archive.org/details/NicoleGodwin
You can listen to other
talks from this conference here.
You can also listen to a recap of the conference on episode 152 of Progressive Podcast Australia.
Below is further information about the talk from the conference booklet, available here: http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/booklet/
Animals and art: understanding the exploitation of animals through art history
Art has always been a powerful way to empower or disempower one’s subject. In my own art practice, I use the depiction of animals as a way to give a voice to the otherwise
voiceless. Unfortunately, the depiction of animals in art has been most commonly used in an exploitative way, often using the animal body as a metaphor to discuss the human
experience. Throughout art history, the depiction of animal flesh has been used as a vessel to communicate complex ideas about power, sexuality, and sin. There exists a wealth of academic analysis of the symbolism of animal flesh in art, however, art historians have often overlooked the wider cultural implications of the depiction of animal flesh, and the way in which these attitudes have informed today’s society. In order to better understand the
underlying cultural attitudes towards meat eating, my honours thesis research aims to
deconstruct the close link between religion, sex, and animal flesh in 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish genre art. This analysis has enabled me to construct an image of this society’s attitudes towards the consumption of animal flesh, and to subsequently better understand meat eating in the contemporary world.
Shan Crosbie is a practicing visual artist and art historian currently
completing her Honours degree in Art History at the Australian National University. Both Shan’s academic and artistic career focuses on understanding and challenging societal constructs that lead to the exploitation and consumption of animals.
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