The 'Improved' Body: animals & humans
Vol 22 no 1, 2002
The implications of the new biotechnology for the human body and for the future of the species is visualised. Recent revelations that genetic makeup of animals is much closer to humans than was previously thought and possibilitues of trans-species hybridity is no longer just the stuff of myth or science fiction. Artists ask: how do we feel about becoming even closer to the animals we share the planet with? Current trends in surgery for transgender and cosmetic changes challenge notions of bodily identity. Writers include WJT Mitchell (Chicago) on Biocybernetics, George Alexander on Julie Rrap, Victoria Ryan on cosmetic surgery and art, Jane Goodall on Ella Dreyfus, Bronwyn Platten on bestiality, Anne Quain on transgenic pets.Also beautifully illustrated features on the works of Monika Tichacek, Sharon Goodwin, Michele Barker, Lynne Roberts-Goodwin, Juan Ford, Stelarc, Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts, Ray Cook, Helen Kundicevic, John Kelly, Jane Trengove, Stephen Holland and Tiffany Parbs.
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Jane TrengoveAuthor & Artist: Ms Jane Trengove, artist profile
Jane Trengove's new paintings of monkey faces are the latest work in her long investigation into the human/animal interface. Trengove's intention with her series Looking Back is to grasp the moment of recognition from the human point of view and reverse the subject and object positions of the gaze. Trengove was born in Melbourne and studied at East Sydney Tech and at the Victorian College of the Arts.
'The eyes of an animal when they consider a man are attentive and wary... Man becomes aware of himself returning the look. The animal scrutinises him across a narrow abyss of non-comprehension. This is why the man can surprise the animal...The man too is looking across a similar, but not identical, abyss of non-comprehension... And so, when he is BEING seen by the animal, he is being seen as his surroundings are seen by him. His recognition of this is what makes the look of the animal familiar...The animal has secrets which, unlike the secrets of caves, mountains, seas, are specifically addressed to man.'
John Berger, About Looking, chapter entitled: 'Why Look at Animals?' (London, Writers and Readers, 1980)
Jane Trengove's new paintings of monkey faces is the latest work in her long investigation into the human/animal interface. She states:
'For some time I have been preoccupied with the primacy of sight and the visual in our culture and its impact on our lives. I have also been interested in the problematic human/animal interface.
When looking at primates we experience something direct and strangely familiar. One's gaze is returned and one feels somewhat realigned in the world, closing the gap between human and animal in an instant. My intention with Looking back is to grasp the moment of recognition from the human point of view and reverse the subject and object positions of the gaze.'
Trengove was born in Melbourne and studied at East Sydney Tech and at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has been showing her work in Melbourne and Brisbane since the late eighties, has also worked as a curator, and has been closely involved with the art and disability organization Arts Access.
She is represented by Sutton Gallery in Melbourne and Bellas Gallery in Brisbane.
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Articles in this issue
- Artist profile: Jane Trengove
- Artist profile: John Kelly
- Artist profile: Lynne Roberts-Goodwin
- Artist profile: Michele Barker
- Artist profile: Monika Tichacek
- Artist profile: Ray Cook
- Artist profile: Steven Holland
- Artist profile: Tiffany Parbs
- Artrave: Artrave
- Editorial: The 'Improved' Body: Animals and Humans
- Feature: Animal Love and Bestiality
- Feature: Animal Magnetism: Sharon Goodwin and the Eternal Romance of the Bestial
- Feature: Carnophilia
- Feature: Improving Their Bodies, Improving Our Bodies
- Feature: On Humans and Other Animals 'Becoming' Each Other
- Feature: Polemic: The Undoing of Art History (Part II)
- Feature: Sex in the Cyborg: Julie Rrap's Overstepping
- Feature: Similarities, Gen-et(h)ic Boundaries, and Respect for Otherness
- Feature: Sympathetic Magic: Skin and Canvas
- Feature: The Extra Ear (or an ear on an arm)
- Feature: The Surgical Fix: Physical Capital, Self-Improvement and the Body Beautiful
- Feature: The Theatrics of Cloning: The Recent Paintings of Juan Ford
- Feature: The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction
- Feature: Uglielands: The Fremantle Festival 2001
- Feature: Willing Tenants: Ella Dreyfus and her Models
- Review: Hema Upadhyay, The Nymph and the Adult, Sung Kwon Park, (un)real, Eugene Carchesio, On Contemporary $ilence
- Review: In correct syntax, Greg Leong, Mammad Aidani and Matthew Ngui,
- Review: Love and Death: Art in the Age of Queen Victoria
- Review: Morphologies
- Review: Neo Tokyo - Japanese Art Now
- Review: Petr Herel: Drawings, Prints and Artist's Books
- Review: Play: An Exhibition for Children, Queensland Art Gallery
- Review: Sally Rees: A Loft
- Review: Singapore Nokia Art 2001
- Review: The Bank West Inaugural Contemporary Art Prize, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art
- Review: Touching from a Distance
- Vis.arts.online: Vis.Arts.Online