Drawing on key texts by S. M. Eisenstein
and Guattari, Alain Badiou, Donna Haraway et al.
, and analyzing works by iconic artists and contemporary ones, this volume brings together theory and art, showing how both turned to animals
to find new ways of problematizing “life.”
The question of life has always been one of modernity's main preoccupations, but it was the advent of the camera—with its ability to record moving creatures—that initiated a new phase in the human investigation of animal behavior. In the world of contemporary art, animals now occupy center stage. Artworks such as Joseph Beuys
's I Like America and America Likes Me
(1974), a weeklong performance in New York during which the artist lived with a coyote, and Rosemarie Trockel
and Carsten Höller
's Haus für Schweine und Menschen
at documenta X (1997), demonstrate the idea that culture, self-consciousness, and language do not exclusively belong to man.