The Political Animal is a day of new academic and creative writing, screenings, sculptural and video commissions, and live performances that reflect upon the conditions of interspecies relationships today. Drawing from studies on animal theory, biology, ethology, philosophy, anthropology and literature, each participant presents their own take on locating the human and other animals within worlds that we have come to call ‘nature’ and ‘culture’.
The Political Animal presents work by members of The Political Animal reading group, and those who have been their inspiration. Set up by Olga Koroleva in February 2016, the reading group functions in a peer-led, democratic fashion and welcomes people of all backgrounds to join a monthly discussion of written work relating to the animal question.
Participants include: Melanie Jackson, Rosemarie McGoldrick, Filipa Ramos, Lynn Turner, Alexandra Anikina, Matthew Beach, Jenny Brady, Laura Cooper, Carl Gent, Dawn Gaietto, Olga Koroleva, Gui Pondé, Sonia Levy, Hermione Spriggs, Laurie Robins, Matterlurgy (Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright), Robbie Judkins, Valinia Svoronou, Elisa Noguera Lopez.
1.30 Doors open
2pm Presentations by Lynn Turner, Rosemarie McGoldrick, Filipa Ramos and Melanie Jackson followed by Q&A.
4pm Screening of moving image work by Alexandra Anikina, Matthew Beach, Jenny Brady, Laura Cooper, Carl Gent, Dawn Gaietto, Olga Koroleva, Gui Pondé, and Sonia Levy.
5.45pm Live performances by Laurie Robins, Hermione Spriggs and Laura Cooper (collaborating as Anthropology of Other Animals), Matterlurgy (Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright), and Robbie Judkins.
On show throughout the day: Sculptural commission by Valinia Svoronou and moving image work by Elisa Noguera Lopez
7.30pm Closing drinks
Melanie Jackson is an artist. Drawing on the intimacies of knowledge at the nanoscale to the spectre of gargantuan monstrosities, she is interested in the ways that objects influence, socialise, or empower us – or render us insubstantial. She collaborates with writer Esther Leslie and is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London.
Rosemarie McGoldrick is a sculptor and installation artist. She is Course Leader for BA Fine Art at The Cass. A champion of animal rights, one of Rosemarie’s research interests is in understanding how the making and the curating of contemporary art now meets the animal-human in praxis.
Filipa Ramos is a writer and editor. She is Editor in Chief of art-agenda and a Lecturer in the Experimental Film MA programme of Kingston University and in the MRes Art:Moving Image of Central Saint Martins. Ramos is co-curator of Vdrome, a programme of screenings of films by visual artists and filmmakers. She was Associate Editor of Manifesta Journal, contributor to Documenta 13 (2012) and 14 (2017), and has recently edited Animals (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press).
Lynn Turner has published numerous articles and book chapters on deconstruction and animals, feminism, film, voice, posthumanism and science fiction. She is the editor of The Animal Question in Deconstruction (2013) and co-author of Visual Cultures As… Recollection (Sternberg, 2013), and is currently completing her monograph Exposing Deconstructions: Animal and Sexual Differences, to be published by Bloomsbury. She is Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Moving image screening
Alexandra Anikina is an artist and researcher, and a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her practice explores non-human subjectivity, techno-aesthetics in experimental film, the life of medium and technologies of knowledge through experimental film and language-based works. Anikina participated in VI Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, IV and V Moscow International Biennales for Young Art, and screened at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Anthology Film Archives, New York; National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; and BAC Bogotá Arte Contemporáneo Museum, Colombia.
Matthew Beach is an artist and current artist-in-residence and teaching assistant at the Slade Summer School. He has participated in the 2016 Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art and recent exhibitions include Primrose Hill, London; Kunstverein at Rosa–Luxemburg–Platz, Berlin; and Gallery Protocol, Gainesville.
Jenny Brady works with moving image to explore ideas around speech, translation and the nature of communication. Recent presentations include Videonale 15, Kunstmuseum Bonn; Roadkill, IMMA; Pallas Periodical Review #4, Pallas Projects / Ormston House; EVA International 2014; and Images Festival 2014, Toronto.). She is co-curator of PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image.
Laura Cooper is an artist. Her practice embraces live performance, video installation and drawing. Recent solo exhibitions include Softening The Grid, Milton Keynes Arts Centre; Nomadic Glow, Centro ADM Mexico City; Soft Revolutions, Space In Between Gallery, London. She co-directed the artist run project space Global Committee with artist Ian Giles in New York from 2014-16.
Carl Gent is an artist, musician and writer. Recent exhibitions, performances and writings include Multiplex, KELDER, London; I'd do this all day if i could (with Nell Osborne), PEER Gallery, London; Thinking Ecology Through My Fairphone 2 in Archipelago #4; Wiðercwedolu þá Glésincga, The Residence Gallery, London; De Regreso a la Isla, Casal Solleric, Mallorca; andL’Heure Verte: 1st Tasting, Green Ray, London.
Dawn Gaietto is a doctoral research student at the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. Beginning from the position of questioning the Nature/Culture binary, her research titled What is happening here? [exploits of the nonhuman] is a project working towards the erasure of this binary. Recent exhibitions include: Spark, Queen Elizabeth National Park, London; National Weather Centre Biennale, Norman Arts Council, USA; Art Demo, Saas Fee, Switzerland; Unfixed Consciousness/Positive Unconsciousness, University Gallery, Gainesville, USA.
Gui Pondé is an artist working with video, sculpture and installation. His practice is driven by an interest in the effect of history and cosmologies on human interaction- The fragilty of our constructed perspectives towards the other. Recent exhibition includes The Sacred Assembly Of The Another Other, Cafune Project Space, Berlin; Alma 1884, London; Raise All Spirtis, Mr Tears Members Club, London; VideoKills- Saint James Church, Hackney, London; The Otherness As A Game, The Unison, London; Fragile, Fondazione Felter, Italy.
Olga Koroleva is an artist working across writing, photography, moving image and live action examining inter-species relationships through gesture, language and biology. In February 2016 she set up The Political Animal reading group at The Showroom, London. Recent exhibitions include Wolf is, live performance at Chalton Gallery, London; MUPO, Oaxaca City, Mexico; Second Person Looking Out, UCL Art Museum, London; National Centre of Contemporary Art and Moscow School of New Cinema, Moscow, Russia.
Sonia Levy is an artist living between London and Iceland. Recent group exhibitions include Animer Le Paysage, Sur La Piste Des Vivants at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris; Of the Sea at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham; Things we didn’t have before, Pumphouse Gallery, London; and Plants, Machines, Animals and Objects!, at Sector 2337, Chicago.
Laurie Robins is an artist working with film. He studied at the Center for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, University of London and has undertaken residency programs at Fondazione Prada, Italy; the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Netherlands); and the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program.
Hermione Spriggs is an artist and researcher. She works towards an eco-aesthetics, drawing from the vernacular language of hunters and trappers who model and engage with beyond-human worlds. Recent exhibitions include Third House, Titanik Galleria, Finland – a project with Laura Cooper and Heini Nieminen around nomadism, women and hunting. She is currently co-leading an Arts Council England-funded project in rural Iceland with collaborator Curtis Tamm.
Matterlurgy is a collaboration between artists Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright. Their interests reside in the discreet entanglements of technologies, humans and nonhumans, and how such relations are co-constructed and performed. Working across installation, performance, sound and site they aim to challenge and reimagine modes of production through forms of cultural, ethical and political practice. They have presented and exhibited work at Ambika P3, Arts Catalyst, ICA, mima, HIAP (Finland) and Bòlit Contemporary Arts Centre (Spain).
Robbie Judkins is a sound artist and musician with a focus on performance, improvisation, composition and audio-visual work. His work explores political issues, particularly animal rights and advocacy. Recent exhibitions and presentation include the Barbican Centre, Chelsea College of Art & Design, Tate Modern's Sonic Trails, Cafe Oto, Resonance FM, NTS Radio, Angus-Hughes Gallery, University of Central Lancashire, Sonica.fm, firstsite and V22. In April 2014 he started a Resonance FM programme entitled, 'Animal Sounds', which investigates how artists are using sound to explore human and non-human animal relationships.
Jamie Sutcliffe is a writer. He has written for Art Monthly, Frieze, Rhizome, The White Review and EROS Journal, and is a publisher at Strange Attractor Press.
Moving Image commission
Elisa Noguera Lopez presents a moving image work in which objects and living elements are stripped of instrumentality, functionality and identity.
Valinia Svoronou works across video, sculpture, poetry, textual and installation work to explore fiction in terms of tropes, means and affective modes of presenting narrative within charged geo-technological landscapes which have existed in the past, present or are part of a speculative future. Recent shows include The glow pt 2, gravity regimes, Frankfurt am Main; ‘The Equilibrists’(2016), a group show co-organised by the New Museum and the Deste Foundation, in Athens; Enterprise Projects space, Athens, The Showroom Gallery, London; and Assembly Point, London.