speciesisminart/carolBove

What are we looking at when we see Carol Bove’s peacock feather covered canvasses? The gallery press release talks about the ‘feathers’ unique concurrence of ornament and function’ and how this is a metaphor for the blurred boundaries and dual function of other sculptures found in the exhibition. By this reasoning, a leopard skin stretched over a canvas would provide another unique concurrence of ornament and function, or a snakeskin or, far from unique, any other exotic animal skin. Of course if she had used a leopard skin our reading of it would be dominated by the ethics of exploiting endangered species and cruelty to animals and it wouldn’t serve very well as a metaphor for anything else in the show. But I would argue that the exploitation of animals is and should be the dominant reading here too.

The vast majority of feathers on the market are the result of cruel processes that exploit animals.  Peacocks do shed their feathers every year and it is possible to buy small amounts from dealers claiming to be cruelty free. However, there are over 1,300 perfectly similar looking feathers in this artwork and we have no information where they came from. I attempted to contact Carol Bove through her Gallery and asked if the feathers were ethically sourced. David Zwirner New York said that my question was passed on to her but I have heard nothing back.

Even if these feathers were somehow ethically sourced, without any other information available at the gallery the message goes out that is it all right to use feathers and by extension, to abuse animals’ bodies to express something, to make art, which it never is.  We have no right to exploit other sentient creatures simply because they are a different species from our own.

gavin

Gavin Toye is an artist and friend I met whilst studying at the RCA. He recently had a crit in his studio where he showed a painting stretcher covered with wool. The following text conversation was prompted by that artwork. He told me it is now destroyed for artistic grounds – not ethical grounds, and that he is not a vegetarian or vegan.

Peter Walsh: When I saw the wool piece at your studio crit I brought up the issue of animal ethics but you didn’t want to discuss it at the time. I’d like to ask if you are aware that the production of wool is a very cruel process?

Gavin Toye: No I wasn’t. What happens in the production?

PW: The sheep are kicked and knocked around, they are sheared as quickly as possible resulting in cuts or worse. They are often sheared too soon in the year and are left freezing cold, sometimes freezing to death. Maggots form in the folds of their skin because they have been artificially bred to produce excess wool, many lambs have huge slices of skin cut off their behinds in a cruel process called mulesing.

GT: That sounds awful. Is that the case in all wool production? And is any of that legal? I mean, do different countries have different rules? I probably won’t use wool again in art, but mainly for artistic reasons. But I would like to know if there are ways of getting wool that is produced less cruelly, like a kind of “free range” wool, because those things of which you speak aren’t necessary of the production of wool are they?

PW: It’s the case with the majority of wool, with around 30% or so coming from Australia. There isn’t really totally ethical wool because it always involves the exploitation of animals. I’m glad to hear you probably won’t use wool again in art  – but why not for ethical reasons?

GT: Well I’d certainly like to know about the minority that are less cruel so I could make my own decision. I don’t see that information being available. As for my reasons for decision making in art that’s an interesting one. My criteria isn’t based solely on ethics like yours might be but it could be influenced by things like that. So I’d consider an alternative.

PW: Would you use a product that was cruel but ‘less cruel’ than the ‘most cruel’ in your artwork?

GT: I would prefer to wear wool that I believed to be from sheep that were treated with respect and certainly wouldn’t intentionally wear wool from the sort of production you spoke of before. It comes down to our definition of cruelty. I was going to say that it’s the same in art as in personal life but I’m not sure that’s true now as in art your intentions have to be more explicit and therefore ethics play a stronger role (not that they shouldn’t in personal life but that’s not what we are talking about). So by my own definition I wouldn’t use anything ‘cruel’ in art but by your definition then perhaps I’d prefer to use the lesser cruel option.

PW: Yes, would you say that in art the viewer is looking at your ethics as well as your art? If something is cruel in the making of the work then that is part of the narrative.

GT: The viewer may not be looking at the ethics of a work (or of the artist but that is implicit) if that is not their concern but it is there in the work, yes.

PW: I am interested in your definition of cruelty, but also, is it only actual or direct animal cruelty we should object to in art? We don’t often speak of a racist image or a sexist image as being cruel. Do you think we should also consider the speciesist image in art as objectionable?

GT: How would you define the speciesist image please?

PW: Let’s say an image of the animal that would be likely to normalize and reinforce our beliefs that it is all right to exploit animals.

GT: So you would say that it is objectionable because it might directly or indirectly cause people to go out and exploit animals or do you object to it purely as an image (and what it represents)?

PW: Both, just as we would treat the racist image or the sexist image.

GT: Of course I object to the sentiment (rather than the image per se) behind the normalisation of the exploitation of animals. But that’s normal, I suppose. As for the representation of those things in art I wouldn’t necessarily object. I think that’s a whole different matter and should remain open to debate. But certainly I think that the debate should happen. So here’s a start (for me)! Thanks.

 

image courtesy Andre Ford

image courtesy Andre Ford

Ex-RCA Architecture student Andre Ford has made a proposal for an intensified, industrialised chicken farming system. The animals would be packed together in maximum concentration throughout their adult life, with tubes used to provide food and remove excreta. In order to side-step the problem of welfare, the chickens will have had their cerebral cortex removed, rendering them unconscious. The proposal is made as a response to a perceived increase in demand for poultry over the next few decades. Impossibly impractical, at least in our present time, I would however like to look at the theoretical moral implications of this Centre for Unconscious Farming.

I contacted Andre Ford requesting an interview but after the first round of questions and answers I was unfortunately unable to make any more contact and so I have published the interview,  rather one-sidedly, with my second questions and any further communication left unanswered.

Peter Walsh: What is your motivation for making the proposal for the Centre for Unconscious Farming?

Andre Ford: The project is a pragmatic response to the expected increase in the demand for poultry meat over the next fifty years.

PW: If it was just that, we wouldn’t have much to talk about, any more than if the project was a response to the demand for sugary foods, or medication. But in talking about the project you bring in ethics and suggest that it is in some way good for chickens, and by extension animals and us. This is why the project is interesting to me and why I have so many questions.

PW: You say we cannot provide adequate welfare of chickens and therefore welfare should be removed entirely by rendering them unconscious prior to farming. I don’t understand the reasoning here. If we are concerned about cruelty to animals wouldn’t it be more logical to go the other way and not eat them at all?

AF: If one was concerned about cruelty to animals, then it follows that one would choose a lifestyle, the consequences of which would not result in the maltreatment of animals.

The statement “we cannot provide adequate welfare” was referring to the intensive farming systems which constitute the majority of the broiler chicken industry. This sector of the industry is set to grow in coming years. The project looks at addressing the problems with this method of farming, namely the lack of welfare. This project proposes that one solution to the problem would be to remove welfare by rendering the animals unconscious.

PW: I’m still confused with your reasoning here. The last part of your paragraph seems to confirm the first and yet you choose a different outcome from your own selected one. If the problem with this method of farming is the lack of welfare then surely what you are saying is that animal suffering matters? Therefore one is concerned about cruelty to animals and so it therefore follows that one would choose a lifestyle that did not include that cruelty ie veganism.

PW: From what I can see on websites it looks as though you have used fake models rather than real chickens in your installation. Do you think a work (artwork, model etc) can be speciesist when an artist or designer uses an animal’s image in order to say something about their own work or ideas?

AF: One would hope that any artist or designer using an image of an animal would be happy to reciprocate if an animal wished to express any ideas of their own.

PW: Well, that’s why it’s speciesist, it’s a one-way street as far as making use of images is concerned. Humans make images of animals to express their ideas, usually to the detriment of animals. Animals don’t do this, although live animals may well express their desire not to be in the artwork. I see the machine as having a further reach in its affect on us than simply removing consciousness and therefore the necessity for welfare. When we present the image on the animal in this way – the fake chickens in the machine we are saying that it is ok to exercise control over non-human animals, that we have a moral ownership of animals. The effect is to make it more likely that we will see no problem with using animals in other areas of our life, such as wearing leather or wool or consuming dairy products which are all part of a cruel process.  In this way I can see the model actually doing immediate harm to animals even before it ever comes into production.

PW: You say we should stop referring to the animals we eat as ‘animals’ but instead ‘crops’. Is there a similarity here within the history of human genocide where particular groups of people where seen as less than human or non-human?

AF: Animals bred for consumption are not afforded the same rights as the animals in our homes and the natural environment. Their short existence and the manner in which they are regarded, or disregarded, is more akin to that of a crop than an animal.

PW: Yes. Am I correct in saying that you see the elimination of suffering as an ethical move that makes eating these animals no longer objectionable?  Does this reasoning also extend to humans? If we could remove suffering from human ‘crops’ would you condone the farming of humans for food or perhaps for spare body parts? What about using one particular race? Do you see a morally significant distinction between humans and non-humans?

PW:  When meat eaters object to your work you refer them to Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals, What do you say if a vegan objects to your work?

AF: Vegans, as an empathetic people could ask themselves the same question in light of the fact the world demand for meat is increasing year on year. How would you like to be farmed?

PW: Why is it ‘..great if it causes someone to reflect on his or her dietary habits’? Do you think we shouldn’t be eating animals?

AF: I do not think that we need to eat meat on a nutritional level and there many environmental reasons why we should not. However, on a cultural level it appears to be engrained.

PW: I think it is quite short sighted to say that a particular eating trait is ingrained. Our present culture is a tiny snapshot of our evolutionary timescale. Surely if we talk about ethics we should seek real change? Even in recent history groups of men have thought that our desire for slavery was ingrained, or the lesser status of women, or religion.

PW: Why would you ‘never become a vegan’?

AF: Dairy products and eggs can be produced using methods which agree with the animals ‘natural’ behaviours.

PW: This is certainly not the case at the moment, and I don’t see how it ever could be. The dairy industry is incredibly cruel. Do you have a feasible example to give for the dairy products and eggs you talk of?

PW: Prior to ending up in the machine, where does fertilisation and the early growth of chicks take place?

AF: There would be on site chick farms and hatcheries.

PW: How would this work with conscious chicks being able to live a natural life?

This proposal claims to remove suffering from factory farming but I could find no details about how the chicks, being born into on-site hatcheries and shortly to be lobotomised, would be free from suffering. To this extent, the Centre for Unconscious Farming (CUF) should more properly be viewed as a functionally welfarist proposal.  By this I am certainly not suggesting that the welfare of these sentient animals is in any way taken into account but that in common with all other animal welfare projects, animals suffer and people are encouraged to feel better about eating them. Gary L Francione explains that animal welfare has a negative effect, or no effect at all, on the three different types of meat eater.

The first group do not care about animals and are never going to become vegans. As the CUF chicken meat will be more expensive than the current, most cruel battery chicken, they will not choose it. The second group are concerned about animals and would go vegan immediately if a good argument was presented to them. The effect of CUF will be to persuade them that they do not have to be vegan, thinking instead that they are acting responsibly by eating this food. The third group is concerned about animal ethics but will not go vegan immediately no matter what argument you present to them. This group could have been encouraged to choose vegan meals more regularly but again are unlikely to do so if they believe they are making an ethical choice by eating welfarist meat.

http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/my-response-to-johanna/#.UwjjNSh1OrJ

It’s important to realize that even if no suffering whatsoever took place the CUF would still be speciesist and objectionable on moral grounds. The speciesist animal image of the proposed machine has a negative effect on all other non-human animals because it  promotes the concept that non-human animals are the property of humans. Keri Cronin of Our Hen House explains that the way we depict animals has a direct effect on how we treat animals. For example, after the classic 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, featuring Audrey Hepburn and Orangey the cat, pet stores and animal adoption centers were reportedly inundated with people wanting to own an orange cat. In another example, early 20th century souvenir postcards in American National Parks showed people feeding candy bars to bear cubs. This dangerous action – for both bears and humans – was difficult to stop so long as the postcards remained popular.

http://www.ourhenhouse.org/2013/11/flock-only-keri-cronin-on-picturing-animals-and-art-as-advocacy/

Speciesisminart AlexVanGelder

Yesterday I visited Hauser & Wirth, Savile Row to see Alex Van Gelder’s Meat Portraits. The artist spent a year photographing the dismembered remains and discarded animal body parts found in a slaughterhouse in Benin. The press release says that he ‘upends traditional notions of portraiture’ but this is slightly confusing as Van Gelder says that he considers these photographs to be still lives, maybe it is more difficult to upend traditional notions of still life.  Sometimes he will photograph the body parts as he finds them on the market floor other times he will arrange them into a composition. In common with taxidermy artists, Van Gelder also likes to inject a ‘playful turn’ into his animal compositions with entrails reconstructed to form a face or an image that looks like rags in a bowl. This playfulness suggests a certain complicity with the slaughterhouse which made me wonder what motivated him to transform the dismembered and disembowelled animals into art.

As I was considering the photographs a beautiful, real-life, black dog came bounding into the gallery, I thought the young man invigilating would try to calm the dog but instead he took the ball from the dog’s mouth and threw it for her to catch. It soon became apparent that the dog knew the invigilator, and the dog’s owner, a well-dressed woman, was a senior member of staff. Everyone in the gallery loved the dog and wanted to play with it, no longer interested in what was on the walls. Another woman gallery goer said to the dog (but loud enough for us all to hear), ‘you are a piece of art yourself’, and repeated herself,  ‘you’re just as much a piece of art as anything else here, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise’. It was strange because although it was seemingly meant as a complement to the dog, it was as if the woman was saying that art in general was somehow above animals, but in this case the dog had achieved the status of art. The dog however, was impatient with the pep talk and wanted to get back to playing, the scene reminded me of a passage in ‘Six Years’ where Lucy Lippard explains how she turned down an award for ‘honorary artist’ because she was happy enough with her status as a writer.

speciesisminartPaolaPivi2

I recently saw Paola Pivi’s exhibition ‘Have you seen me before’ at the Whitechapel Gallery. The feathers on her polar bear sculpture seemed to be real and I sent her an email asking her if the question of animal ethics in the gallery space was something she is concerned with in her work. I got a one-word answer back, ‘Yes’. I followed on with some more questions but heard nothing else. In the current edition of Art Review Oliver Basciano gets a longer interview. Mid conversation he asks, ‘Are you a meat eater’? She replies ‘Oh yes, I love meat. I would eat it exclusively if I could’. This caused me to stop and think; can you be concerned about animal ethics in art if you eat meat? I suppose you could answer by saying you consume so called happy meat and believe in animal welfare i.e. hoping to improve the living conditions of animals before eating them and therefore feeling better about it. But if you eat meat (or dairy products) it seems all the more unlikely that you would appreciate that the representation of the animal can have a detrimental effect – on the animal. After all, if you see nothing wrong with using animals’ bodies as food then it’s unlikely you would find it wrong to abuse their mere image for artistic ends.

Paola Pivi photographs zebras in the snow, a donkey floating in a small boat, a leopard in a studio full of coffee cups, she expresses a desire to put a live giraffe on top of a skyscraper, an elephant on the Arc de Triomphe. These amazing, incredible animals are nothing more that props for the artist to exercise power over. Her megalomania reveals a breathtaking ignorance of animal suffering, in Art Review she tells us that,  ‘A trained elephant from, for example, a circus, travels on the road in a container all his life, so it could easily hang out up there and not be stressed out by the experience.’

There are no limits to her imagination, or mine, I often imagine that if artists who used animals enrolled on even the most basic animal biology, animal physiology or zoology evening course, and learned a small amount about the natural history of the animals they used, they could save themselves a quite a lot of time with their investigations into the animal/human, spare us 90 percent of their ignorant and uninteresting art, and most importantly reduce the amount of animal suffering in the world. Giraffes and leopards don’t want to be in her art they want to be in their natural environment. So when we see a Zebra in the snowscape we should see that the artist has put that animal there against its will in order to make their artwork, in order to ‘prompt a childlike sense of wonder’, ‘blur the boundary between reality and fiction’ etc.

The following is a short conversation I had with Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, repeated here because my comments have now been removed from their facebook page. It starts with my response to Giovanni Aloi’s review of ‘the Nature of the Beast’ The New Art Gallery Walsall, 26 April – 30 June 2013.

Peter Walsh What? Yet more of the taxidermy we see everywhere, reinforcing the human status of ownership over animals in order to raise questions about our relationship with animals again?

 Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture taxidermy is not simply a means of reinforcing the human status of ownership over animals…

PW That’s the dominant message. If male artists kept making images of dead, stuffed, chopped up women we would question it as sexist, even if they said they were making work about what it means to be male.

Most of the taxidermy in the show is actually roadkill and there is much more than taxidermy in this show…

PW Roadkill or not, when we present another species in this derogatory way; ‘butterflies and moths horribly crushed and disfigured’… ‘an opening on the stomach of a dead stag is revealed to house a seemingly never-ending dark cave filled with resting bats’, we are primarily exercising and condoning our power of ownership over other species. The review fails to address this aspect of taxidermy and that is why I am focusing on that part of the show.

Yours is an interesting point, one that I have come across other times. You clearly are looking at the matter from one specific perspective. Art is never about totalization of meaning. Do you also care for art in which dead animals are featured in the substances used by artists, like all classical paintings from 1200 to 1950s or do you just find the visibility of dead animals a problem? There are more dead animals on Mona Lisa than there are in this show in Walsall…

PW The point I am making is that animal abuse in art is still animal abuse, the artwork may have other meanings but they do not undo the abuse and speciesism. Moreover, a review of a show that contains speciesist work should mention this fact because it is not a grey area.

As you point out, cruel animal based ingredients were used in the past and it is important that we are aware of this because they are still used today. It’s not a case of ‘do I care for such art’, but rather, it is speciesist.

A I have actually written about speciesism in art/media myself and am a vocal campaigner against the general discrimination against insects and invertebrates which leads to abominable TV programs such as I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I don’t feel any of the works presented in the show remotely nears the mass killing and general sense of disgust for animals which such TV shows watched by millions instill. Taxidermy proposes a difficult to negotiate question between beauty and horror which lies underneath everything we do. I don’t condone the killing of animals for the purpose of making taxidermy but there is a lot of love in finding road kill and wanting to preserve the animal body. Nothing is black and white and nothing is just speciesistic, as nothing is just sexist. Ultimately, I am afraid that your piece is not a review of the show but an account of what you have seen. It is not art reviewing or art criticism by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a short text by someone who has specific ideas on what animal cruelty is.

Thank you for the interesting exchange. I’m afraid, no. This exchange should remain here, on Antennae’s page. Thanks.

 

speciesisminart pigeons

Artwise, the ‘London based curatorial collective and ideas studio’, who curated the show Beastly Hall, describe their role as, ‘matching clients with some of the most innovative thinking around today’. Disappointing then that eleven out of the 26 featured artists are using animals (living or dead) or animal body parts and include some of the most familiar and least innovative art; taxidermy. Regardless of whether the animal was roadkill, found taxidermy, died of old age or any other excuse given to justify using animals bodies in their work, these artists are contributing to animal suffering. This is because they have assumed the authority of the owner of the animal’s body and image which is then used  to the detriment of the animal and for the gain of the artist.  A fox in an unnatural position lying on a bed snarling (Nina Saunders), a bulls heart with a sword through it (Damien Hirst), the head of one species on the body of another species (Thomas Grünfeld), pigeons fixed together in a mass to make a more ‘interesting’ sculpture (Polly Morgan).

The exhibition hand-out says of Nina Saunders, “Her work is jovial and fun, whilst laden with contemplative ideas.”  Sarah Lucas whose photograph, ‘Sex Baby’, includes a dead chicken is, ” Never one to shy away from controversy, Lucas’s work is known for being provocative and humorous”.  Also humorous is Carina Weidle, her “Olympic Chickens inject some humour into the beastly theme of this exhibition”. Also never-shying-away is Claire Morgan, “never shying away from difficult and decaying material”

Living animals in their natural habitat are already amazing and funny, they are not ours to own or to use in a derogatory way in art.

Speciesisminart ROSE ENGLISH, ROSE FINN-KELCEY, ALEXIS HUNTER, CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN 

‘Taking matters into our own hands’, 23rd January – 8th March at Richard Saltoun and Karsten Schubert focuses on feminist performance art made in the 1970’s by London based artists Rose English, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Alexis Hunter and Carolee Schneemann. Rose English’s video, Quadrille, has women dressed as horses wearing horse hooves, horse tails and leather harnesses. The appendages from the video are on display in Karsten Schubert. Rose Finn-Kelcey shows a photograph of a performance from 1976 where she spent two days and nights in a gallery with a magpie. Carolee Schneemann is photographed with a python.  Alexis Hunter is the only one not using animals to make her artwork about domestic tension, violence and rape.

When an artist makes feminist work that is speciesist it makes me wonder why the artist is making activist work in the first place. If you are part of a group that is discriminated against  you may have first hand experience of  injustice but I think it is also important to question why injustice is fundamentally wrong in the first place and whether all injustices are linked.  I believe It is morally wrong to use and exploit any sentient creature, be that a non-human animal, a women, a person of a different race or sexuality or anyone else simply because they are part of a different group to our own. All sentient animals suffer, they all have an equally valid claim on life and want to go on living. We don’t have a right of ownership over animals any more than we have right of ownership over other people.

These four artists are well aware of issues of exploitation of the ‘other’, they make intelligent questioning work and have thought about their use of animals. Rose English’s Quadrille looks at how women and horses are both fetishised and she gave considerable thought to her use of animal parts when the work was originally made, nearly 40 years ago. Carolee Schneemann challenges male stereotypes of women with her images of heterosexual erotic power. Rose Finn-Kelcey’s performance uses the association between magpies and witches. However, after all that consideration, a decision was made at the time to use animals and again to re-show the work. So, although the matter is complex, I’m assuming that the artists stand by the work and do not see it as exploitative.  To look at it from another perspective, if animal rights activists were to use naked women to promote animal injustice they would be called sexist and inconsistent, precisely the charge leveled at PETA campaigns. We need to be aware of our anthropocentric double standards because, unfortunately, non-human animals cannot take matters into their own hands.

 

speciesisminart

Olivier Richon’s photograph, ‘The Quarry’ (1995) shows a dead deer attached to a pole in a minimal gallery-type space. His solo show Acedia, at Ibid, Hoxton Square, London has a loose general theme of hunting connecting several of the works. I immediately wonder if the artist is pro or anti hunting, or interested in the debate. Of course, I can’t find out by glancing at the work, if I could, the artist would run the risk of being criticised as didactic, polemical, uninteresting. Instead, what we see is a beautifully lit, carefully composed photograph of a dead deer. It’s as if something poetic is being said but we will never be sure quite what.  In order to produce such an image however, the artist reveals something about himself; that he assumes ownership of the deer. The body of the deer is being used by the artist to say something about his work.  Whatever the artist is trying to say is mediated by animal exploitation and death. Once we see this, it is hard to find anything in the photograph, or any allusion, more interesting, urgent or important than the question of the artist’s own treatment of sentient creatures. Olivier Richon would probably find it crass to discuss his exhibition’s subtle and beautiful photographs in terms of whether or not he is pro hunting, but the reality of the quarry is to be chased to exhaustion and torn apart.

This is a video still of the Russian artist Oleg Kulik re-enacting his 1995 performance ‘Missionary’ in the street outside London’s Regina Gallery. He steps into a large fish tank, water pours over the side as the startled fish swim around his feet. The image shows a moment when the artist plucks a fish from the water and holds it into the air whilst talking to it. The fish eventually slips out of his hands, bounces off his face and splashes back into the water.
The gallery press release tell us;
‘…Kulik challenges common notions of what it means to be a human being’
‘The regression into an animalistic state of mind allows the artist to act out a human primitiveness commonly deemed unacceptable in today’s society.’
‘…Kulik exposes the animality of mankind and the fallacy of the concept of human supremacy.’
I would like to look at these press statements one by one.
Firstly, The dominant relationship between human beings and non-human animals is one of ownership, exploitation and cruelty. This notion of what it means to be a human being goes unchallenged when an artist uses animals out of their natural environment, frightens them and harms them. In fact rather than ‘challenge’ Kulik is actually reinforcing ‘common notions of what is means to be a human being’.
Secondly, Kulik’s ‘human primitiveness’, when directed towards non-human animals, is not certainly not, ‘commonly deemed unacceptable in today’s society’. Animal exploitation is acceptable and normal in today’s society and goes unchallenged by the artist.
Thirdly, ‘…Kulik exposes the animality of mankind and the fallacy of the concept of human supremacy.’ Surely there must have been some point where Kulik realized that he was benefiting from his own concept of human supremacy. Maybe it was when he first came up with the idea of using animals in his artwork. Maybe it was when he picked up the phone and ordered fish to be placed in a tank for his performance, maybe it was when he showed disregard for their wellbeing by splashing around in their unnatural environment and handling them. ‘The concept of human supremacy’, is indeed a fallacy but rather than expose it, Kulik uses it for his own ends – in this case his art.