Colonies and Broods
Abbas Akhavan, Barry Doupé, Eleanor Morgan, and Marina Roy
Curated by Marina Roy
June 30 to September 4, 2016
Humans go by many collective names, while each animal species tends to be confined to just one or two. Humans differ in their collective behaviour in that they have colonized the earth well beyond natural adaptation, evolving culturally to the point of dominating the earth, harnessing the energy of myriad life forms, as well as endangering or rendering extinct many other life forms in the process. Monocultures expand while biodiversity shrinks. Looked at from a non-anthropocentric perspective, human manipulation of the biosphere can be viewed as myopic and horrific.
The artists whose work has been selected for this video program, Colonies and Broods, reflect on human-animal relationships in a number of profound ways – with instances of humans becoming animal and creaturely, of animals forced to adapt to humans, but also revealing instances where humans remain all-too-human. In many of these video works, the behaviour and umwelt of nonhuman life forms reveal themselves as breathtakingly exuberant in their biological specificity—even in their adaption to ‘unnatural’ situations and environments.
Abbas Akhavan, Hawkers, 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.