Talk: Terike Haapoja – A View From Nowhere – tracing the animal perspective

October 2, 2014 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Room 211
West Hall
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180
Talk: Terike Haapoja - A View From Nowhere - tracing the animal perspective @ Room 211 | Troy | New York | United States

Terike Haapoja is a Finnish -born visual artist, currently based in Berlin. Having a specific focus in how the non-human world and its inhabitants are represented in our society, Haapoja’s installations, writings and research investigate the concepts of otherness, community and corporeality. Haapoja’s work has been widely exhibited internationally, and she represented Finland in the Venice biennale 2013.

In her talk Haapoja will discuss two ongoing projects that look at the status and visibility of non-human perspectives in the society.

The History of Others, a collaboration with writer Laura Gustafsson, is a large scale art and research project investigating cultural history from the perspective of other species.

The first part of the project, The Museum of the History of Cattle, was launched in 2013, followed by a publication in the fall 2014. The museum is the first ethnographic museum portraying the cultural history or a non-human species. Existing in the borderline between art and reality, the installation aims at transforming reality into a place where non-human perspectives are acknowledged, while at the same time making visible the human-centeredness of history itself.

The absence of non-human perspective in our society becomes visible when looking at the existing legislation and the way in which non-humans are described in law. The Trial is a participatory performance, directed by Haapoja & Gustafsson, that investigates animals in legislation. Built as a trial where the spectators play different roles, the performance re-enacts criminal cases involving animals by giving them legal representation. The performance looks at the history of the development of a legal subject as a key concept of a modern state, medieval animal trials, and the relationship of the rights of animals with the battles for rights for slaves, women or other repressed groups.

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Sponsored by Rensselaer, iEAR Presents, NYSCA


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