What Does Art Add? Figuring the More-than-Human World
Curated by Kathryn Eddy and Janell O’Rourke
April 10 – May 29, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, April 10, 6 – 8 pm
City Without Walls (cWOW) located at 6 Crawford St. Newark, NJ is pleased to announce a new group exhibition entitled What Does Art Add? Figuring the More-than Human World, curated by Kathryn Eddy and Janell O’Rourke. The show will run from April 10 – May 29, 2015, with an opening reception Friday, April 10 from 6 – 9 pm.
Featured artists include: Steve Baker, Kathleen Benton, Kathryn Eddy, Vincent Evans, Leah Grimaldi, Kathy High, Nils Karsten, Maureen O’Leary, Janell O’Rourke, Deborah Simon, L.A. Watson and Josh Worman. In this show these artists focus on animal life in ways that move beyond romanticized, sentimental or objectified images that have permeated centuries of human-centered attitudes toward other animals. The title is inspired by a question posed by the eminent theoretical writer, historian and artist Steve Baker in his 2013 book Artist|Animal. “What does art add?” What does art offer that the language and outlook of literature, or anthropology, or philosophy might not bring so intensely to our attention? Each of these artists brings to the exhibition an interest in exploring the complicated relationships that we have with other animals. How does our human-ness interfere with making art that shifts from an anthropocentric outlook to something else? What can we learn from that struggle in order to go beyond the human edge? How does that possibility create a space for working in-between; and is it even possible? What becomes apparent through these artists’ processes is an engagement with materials, intuition, queries and ideas that points towards multiple forms of agency, identity, nature and culture beyond the human.
About Steve Baker:
Steve Baker is Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. Now working as an independent writer, researcher and artist, his recent book Artist|Animal (in the “Posthumanities” series from the University of Minnesota Press) has been praised by the prominent American artist Mark Dion for its author’s “rigorous ethnographer’s eye” and “deep understanding of the nuance, intricacy, and contradictions in how artists work today.” Examples of Baker’s roadkill imagery have been exhibited in the USA, UK and Australia, and several were recently included in major animal-themed museum exhibitions in Poland and Germany. They have been discussed in Giovanni Aloi’s Art & Animals, and in the journals Art & Research, Antennae, and Tierstudien.
About the curators:
Kathryn Eddy and Janell O’Rourke are founding members, along with L.A. Watson, of the art coalition ArtAnimalAffect which is dedicated to bridging art, activism, and critical animal studies. They recognize how all earthly beings are interconnected and how our diversity is part of our shared experience in understanding tolerance. Through artwork, they aim to raise awareness of animal issues, as well as provide exhibition opportunities for contemporary artists working with human and nonhuman animal relationships.
Eddy and O’Rourke have exhibited their work on the east and west coasts. Most recently the collective is working with the ecofeminist writer and theorist, Carol J. Adams to publish the book The Art of the Animal. This will feature the artwork and writing of fourteen women artists who have been inspired by Carol’s theories and will accompany an exhibition opening at The National Museum of Animals and Society in Los Angeles in Fall 2015.
About City Without Walls:
City Without Walls (cWOW) is an urban gallery of emerging art that advocates the careers of artists while building the audience for contemporary art.
City Without Walls is New Jersey’s oldest not-for-profit alternative art space, in continuous operation in the city of Newark since 1975. They operate a professional fine art gallery that showcases the work of contemporary artists on site, off-site, online and through traveling exhibitions.
City Without wall is located at 6 Crawford St. Newark, NJ 07102. 973-622-1188. Cwow.org