Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Tails, feathers, claws, paws, and slender toes peak out from blurred scans of natural history specimens included in Ann Hamilton’s new exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. For Ann Hamilton: the common SENSE, which opened earlier this month, the artist delved into the collections of the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture for an installation of newspaper prints fragmenting the preserved animals.
The images are just a component of the common SENSE, which will evolve over its six months, filling the entire museum with new work. Clothing from the Burke that incorporates fur or other visible animal parts is also included, along with performative elements and objects from the Henry and University of Washington Libraries.
Back in 1992, Hamilton released a crowd of canaries in the Henry, and more recently her The Event of a Thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, that opened in late 2012, had a flock of pigeons flying home to a coop each night installed high above the installation of swings swaying below white fabric. Yet here the birds and other creatures are all deceased, processed with distortions from her rudimentary scanner. Collaborating with the Burke, she handpicked a couple hundred specimens to scan, then had them printed on newsprint that’s on the gallery walls. Visitors can freely tear off the animals as they visit.
Below you can see a few of these scans, which echo some of Hamilton’s previous animal prints like her soot-stained monoprints of canaries in “american singers” (2009). Natural history museums have this embedded consideration of the relationship between humans and other animals, with the way and reasons that they are preserved, from taxidermy mounted in a replication of our vision of wildness, to these more delicate specimens kept as an archive of biodiversity. There’s something both vulnerable and beautiful about Hamilton’s scans, and an echo of this complicated connection.
Ann Hamilton: the common SENSE continues at Henry Art Gallery (4100 15th Avenue NE, Seattle) through April 26.
Archeologists can now prove the Vikings made landfall in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Bahamas.
This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
Sculptures of Oaxacan alebrijes, envisioned as guardians of the nation’s immigrant community, and catrinas, Day of the Dead skeletons, are now at Rockefeller Center.
“I am trying to keep the immediacy of my emotional experience while I’m painting.”
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.