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Arjuna Neuman: the animals

November 30, 2001 8:00 pm

As part of the parallel program with exposure under construction exhibition, the participating artists will organize screenings, workshops, talks, etc. at BAC. The program begins with a screening evening by Arjuna Neuman. The irony of pet therapists, pet hotels, and pet cemeteries produces its uneasiest feelings when placed next to any image of the destruction of nature: the pacific trash island for example, or the burned down rainforests, the low-slung smog clouds, the industrial farming complex, or even dolphins caught in beer-can plastic. Sublimation is always uneasy. These videos however do not lament our disappearing natural world (they leave that to ecology alarmists, the new psychoanalysts) – instead, these videos ask a different question. They ask the natural world and animals in particular to be our mirror. The animals then become a frame and a lens to look at the human (anthropocentric?) relationship to the natural world; we get to see ourselves as foreign beings. this telegraphy turns perverse, when the animals as both our projected proxy and importantly, as themselves, look directly back at us, as if silently addressing and maybe even judging, our failed humanism.

screening: total: 69 minutes
caesium forest (trailer), 1 min – Arjuna Neuman
sitting feeding sleeping, 9 min – Rachel Rose
caesium forest: aspen, caesium flux, 11 min – Arjuna Neuman
the watering hole, 8 min – Thomas Macker
tsujiki, 40 min – Allan Sekula

Reading: consider the lobster – David Foster Wallace