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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John KellyAuthor: Mr John Kelly, artist profile
John Kelly paints cows and horses, in particular, the legendary Phar Lap and Dobell's camouflaged bovines. Through using these narratives and adding new elements Kelly has created a multi-layered structure of ideas. This evolution works on a slow time scale that is at odds with today's fast consumer culture where products need to be refreshed and changed on a continual basis.
Kelly paints cows and horses, in particular, the legendary Phar Lap and Dobell's camouflaged bovines. He states: 'Ideas derived within an evolutionary framework, beginning with William Dobell and the strange camouflage scheme that he was involved in during W.W.II, are what drive my work. Through using this narrative and adding new elements I have created a multi-layered structure of ideas. This evolution works on a slow time scale that is at odds in today's fast consumer culture where products need to be refreshed and changed on a continual basis. Paradoxically we have reached a point where if anything becomes 'fashionable' it is immediately unfashionable because of its fashionableness. Therefore it will be replaced by the next big thing until that is also replaced and so on and so on. An artist such as Morandi, whose main body of work consisted of painting bottles, would have little chance of recognition in this world view.
For me it is irrelevant whether I am painting cows, cubes or whatever. It is simply a matter of allowing ideas to 'evolve' on a fluent and continual basis. I believe it is only by creating my work in this slow evolutionary way that I can begin to create a truly intelligent art.'
Born and trained in Australia, John Kelly now lives and works in London. He won an Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship Award to the UK in 1996 and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in Australia and overseas. He was selected to exhibit his now famous sculpture Cow up a tree in the Champs de la Sculpture II on the Champs Elysées in 1999. He is represented in Australia by Niagara Galleries in Melbourne where he shows frequently, and by Piccadilly Galleries in London.
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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