Animals and Artists

Animals and Artists

An Exploration of Impossible Encounters

Elizabeth Eleanor Jacqueline Atkinson


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This book explores a selection of artistic representations of animals. Positioned within contemporary debates around the animal question, this book challenges anthropocentric beliefs about the all-knowing, rational and speaking human subject. I argue that the very unrationality of animal worlds marks the very limits of human thinking.


Elizabeth Eleanor Jacqueline Atkinson:

Elizabeth Atkinson is an AHRC funded Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art. She researches other species, to investigate how their exhibition in particular art works successfully challenges traditional anthropocentric beliefs about selfhood. Her project ultimately proposes how and why particular forms of nonhuman knowledge matter to us, in the hope of weaving these knowledges into human constructions, to establish a plane for coexistence. Elizabeth argues why these particular (re)presentations of animals become an effective way for humans to encounter and learn from other species, and how the artists themselves suggest ways that animal capabilities might be adopted by humans to improve their relationship to the planet and its other inhabitants.