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PhD Project

Re-Framing the Non-Human Animal in Art Production

Re-Framing the Non-Human Animal in Art Production is a practice based research project within the field of Critical Animal Studies. This means that this project is interdisciplinary with one foot in the field of contemporary art and the other in the field of Critical Animal Studies. The research takes place at the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS) at Edge Hill University, UK, and is conducted part-time through the Post Graduate Research Study Program. During this process, I will be based in Malmö, Sweden. 

What is Critical Animal Studies? –>

A short introduction
The research project Re-Framing the Non-Human Animal in Art Production will explore how non-human animals are framed within both cultural and physical frames within the field of contemporary and historic art production, and investigate ways of challenging these frames by writing counter-art-histories of classical oil paintings in which non-human animals participate. In this process anthropomorphism* will be used as a tool for imagining these new histories from the perspective of the non-human animals who are visually represented in the oil paintings, but also the ones that are hidden in the materiality of the artwork. 

The aim is to explore the possibility that art and artists can be part of shedding light on its own anthropocentric** history, making the animal lives and bodies used in art production go from invisible to visible. And finally, that the transformation of living beings into art material is ended.

Through the entire process this research project will be informed by Critical Animal Studies, which means that it will put the non-human animal in the centre of the project by investigating the consequences art production can have on the lives of non-human animals forced into the system of art production. Therefore, I will not so much focus on the symbolic meanings of non-human animals in art history, but rather focus on, and make visible, how non-human animals bodies are used within art production and how this affect the actual life of animals.

EvaMarie Lindahl, August 2020

*Anthropomorphism: is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities.
**Anthropocentrism: is the notion that humans are the most important entities in the universe and that we should view and interpret everything through the lens of human experience

Artworks in relation to Re-Framing the Non-Human Animal in Art Production

CHAPTER SIX: Resistance Within the Museum Fauna, a lecture performance and virtual guided tour at Lunds Konsthall (2020)
CHAPTER FIVE: The Artist Named Me Nero (2019)
CHAPTER FOUR: On the Back of a Huntsman (2019), Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
CHAPTER THREE: Green Feathers (2018), National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen
CHAPTER TWO: The We and I of the Bishop’s House (2017), Bishops House, Lund
CHAPTER ONE: Isaac van Amburgh and his Animals (2017), Stene Projects, Stockholm

For the remaining two years I will be writing my way through an understanding of this project on a part-time basis, and hopefully present a thesis in the autumn of 2022.

The supervisory team consist of

Claire Parkinson is a Professor of Film, Television and Digital Media and Co-Director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS). Her research interests focus on media, film and Animal Studies; sustainable consumption; eco-media; American cinema; activism; and, film and politics.

Her publications (as Claire Molloy) include the books Popular Media and Animals (2011) and Memento (2010) and the edited collections Routledge Companion to Cinema and Politics (2016), American Independent Cinema: Indie, Indiewood and Beyond (2012) and Beyond Human: From Animality to Transhumanism (2012). Her forthcoming monograph (as Claire Parkinson) is Another Point of View: Anthropomorphism and Animals (2017).
Clarie Parkinson –>

Dr Richard Twine
is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS). His research interests take place at the nexus of gender studies, human/animal relations, science studies and environmental Sociology. Much current research focuses upon the issue of sustainable food transitions in the context of climate change.

Richard is the author of the book Animals as Biotechnology – Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies (Routledge, 2010), and co-editor, with Nik Taylor of Flinders University, Australia, of The Rise of Critical Animal Studies – From the Margins to the Centre (Routledge Advances in Sociology, 2014). He has published many articles and chapters on issues as diverse as veganism, antibiotics, ecofeminism, intersectionality, posthumanism, bioethics and physiognomy.
Richard Twine –>

Victor Merriman
is  a Professor of Critical Performance Studies at Edge Hill University and the Director of Research in the Department of Performing Arts, he also leads the Performance and Civic Futures research group. Merriman holds degrees from the National University of Ireland, the University of Southampton , and Staffordshire University.

Professor Merriman is the author of articles and book chapters on post-colonialism and late twentieth-century Irish theatre, and contributing editor of two Special Issues of the online journal Kritika Kultura: Radical Theatre and Ireland and Performance and Domination. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Cambridge Scholars Press, and the International Advisory Board of Perspectives in the Arts and Humanities Asia, a board member of the Liverpool Irish Festival, and a member of National Council of the British Association of Irish Studies.
Victor Merriman –>

Dr Alex Juke
s’ educational and professional background spans the fields of interactive media design, animation, film & TV production and fine art. Before working within an educational environment he worked within the media industry as a practitioner across a number of fields including 3D modelling, animation, video game production, graphics for television and interactive digital media. In the past he has produced graphic animation sequences for Zenith North and Tyne Tees.

Alex’s academic research interests are concerned with materiality of 3-D CGI animation and his PhD by practice at Royal College of Art interrogates this subject. Alex has delivered academic papers nationally/internationally relating to this subject and produced and presented animations, exhibitions and interactive installation works that explore this theme via practice as research. 

Featured image of the painting The Horse Fair by artist Rosa Bonheur