1. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    That’s disturbing. Good, disturbing art.
    Somehow I wish she was just sculpting her animal/human chimeras rather than using taxidermy to do this, but if it was just a sculpture, the disturbing effect would not be nearly as strong, so I guess that would run counter to what her art is meant to be and do.
    I’m glad she’s using old, unwanted hides, though. And it makes sense, if you’re going to change around large parts of the hide, anyway.

  2. karellen says

    “for some reason it’s the ears and the antlers that trigger me.”

    Trigger? Really? The model doesn’t look or sound like they’re being triggered to me. They seem to be entirely in control of their shit.

    Not that I want to dismiss what they’re actually feeling; I’m just not sure they’re labelling the feeling accurately, and cheapening the word for people who, you know, actually need it. Or have we already reached the point where “being triggered” is in general usage as a synonym for “being made to feel slightly uncomfortable”?

    Oh, but thanks for posting. This makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, in a good way.

  3. says

    It makes me uncomfortable, in a bad way. Calls to mind Cecil the lion and the tweets Richard Dawkins recently made criticizing the huntress Sabrina Corgatelli. In the grand scale of animal cruelty I’m sure Kate Clark doesn’t get a terrible rating, but nevertheless shooting an animal in the eyeball to make ugly art is just a shitty business to be in. If you really love animals, stop killing them and playing around with their corpses. That’s not an appropriate expression of love.

  4. MadHatter says

    @7 Merrily Dancing Ape, the artist doesn’t shoot them. She uses hides that would otherwise get thrown away and I’d say by making this sort of art that is a bit uncomfortable she’s probably making some people stop and think a bit about their relationship with animals.

  5. Rowan vet-tech says

    Karellen, the model was clearly referring to what was causing the feelings of discomfort. The phrase trigger has been around a long time and does not have only one meaning in all contexts. Potatoes would trigger an episode of diarrhea in my last dog, for example. I do not know what triggers my cat’s asthma attacks.

  6. says

    Merrily Dancing Ape @ 7:

    In the grand scale of animal cruelty I’m sure Kate Clark doesn’t get a terrible rating, but nevertheless shooting an animal in the eyeball to make ugly art is just a shitty business to be in.

    If you’re intent on making a pronouncement on art, it’s helpful to have the facts first – Kate Clark doesn’t kill any animals. Her art is making people think about animals, including human animals who do kill. Myself, I think that’s powerful, and what she is doing has the ability to engage people’s mirror neurons in what is an emotional and uncomfortable way.

  7. says

    @10 & @12: I’m obviously aware that the artist doesn’t shoot the animals herself. But *somebody* did. If you hire a hitman to murder somebody, you’re still a murderer even though you aren’t the one who pulled the trigger. She is using the skins of dead animals and is thereby supporting the industry that murders those animals unnecessarily for human pleasure. Whatever her work does to you on an artistic level–give you goosebumps or make you “think” or whatever–doesn’t erase the source of the materials.

    If she were using human skins versus animal skins everybody would be up in arms. We wouldn’t dream of defending the artistic merits, however delightfully creepy the artwork. But people are defensive about their right to abuse and murder animals. They feel any use of animals they can think up is automatically justifiable. People reflexively defend orthodoxy, exactly like what happens with theism and racism and every other ism.

    I guess my question for you would be: how in your mind is this morally better than the dentist who killed the lion? In your view, do animals have no rights whatsoever? Is there NO use of animals where you draw the line and say “Enough, this is just stupid and unnecessary, it’s wrong to kill an animal for this”? Or are humans allowed to use animals for any reason they want, no matter how pointless? And if you feel that way, how as a freethinker and a humanist (I’m assuming)–knowing that these animals share much of our DNA and aren’t that different from us–do you justify your stance?

  8. chigau (違う) says

    Merrily Dancing Ape #15
    (note the use of your ‘nym)
    Have you ever heard of road-kill?
    Would you like to have a dialogue?
    Or do you want to just string?
    A bunch?
    Of Questions?

  9. Rowan vet-tech says

    She’s not sending people out to kill animals for her; she finds hides that were already processed and ready for taxidermy but were too ‘flawed’, or the original person decided not to use it after all.

    I love the bodies exhibits… which use various bits of actual human bodies, artistically. Admittedly willingly donated, but I do not find bodies-as-art to be intrinsically horrifying. Just yesterday I picked up my pet snake that I had skeletonized after I had to euthanise him. I also have his skin, which I am going to preserve and display as well because he was a beautiful animal alive, and he’s still beautiful as a skeleton. I got to learn a great deal about him too, as he has multiple areas where he laid down calcium deposits that fused vertebrae together, and for unknown reasons he was continually breaking and healing ribs. He’s currently display in pride of place in my living room.