Lin May SaeedI Wanna Be Your Dog #2. Animal Liberation in Contemporary Art
Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany
"Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." (Banksy)
Mast systems gave way to fields, animal transports and slaughterhouses are phenomena of the past. Animal experimentation has been replaced by computer models. Hunting is obsolete, animals are neither purchased nor sold. Pets went out of fashion, animal homes are redundant. Carnism is no longer considered normal nor necessary – it has been overcome. Animals are no longer at the sovereign disposal of humans. As sensitive creatures they were granted personal rights in the constitution, has once were slaves, women and homophiles.
What is expressed by these sentences appears like a different world but it has long been put down in words by pioneers like Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) or Tom Regan (1938-2017). Most people become more and more aware of the fact that violence against animals (and the environment) is a crime, and that we need to rethink our society. While we are still discussing ethical aspects, the statistical facts are unmistakable. From 1970 until 2009 alone global meat production has increased to almost 300 Mio. tons. 1.4 Bio. cattle, 1.0 Bio. pigs, 1.0 Bio sheep and approx. 19 Bio. chicken are reared for this purpose, and they have to be fed daily. Already today, livestock production requires one third of the available land and is responsible for 18% of the global propellant emissions. The share of the global meat production in climate change is thus larger than that of the complete transportation industry (14%).
"I Wanna Be Your Dog - Animal Liberation in Contemporary Art" sets out to question the universal consensus through contemporary positions from the visual arts and science, and to look for alternative models and utopias. How can we free the "Others", the enormous range of animal species, reduced to the single term "animals", from the peripheries of human thinking and recognize them as equitable individuals?
"Animal Liberation in Contemporary Art" is the resumption of the exhibition series "I Wanna Be Your Dog" at Künstlerhaus Dortmund and is moreover, and for the first time, associated with a symposium. Artists and scholars will talk about the subject "Is art able to liberate animals?". With a highly diverse program of events and mediation we aim to address a wide audience, and "I Wanna Be Your Dog - Animal Liberation in Contemporary Art" will be continued after 2018 as well. A regulary published series of texts is envisaged. The wish to contribute to a social-political change and to a rethinking for the benefit of all is at the focus of each and every activity.
An exhibition catalogue will be launched at the opening reception.