Group show featuring artists Mike Bartlett, Anton Goldenstein, Cathy Lomax, Stephanie Quayle, Alli Sharma.
Stuck in an uncomfortable axis between enforced captivity and the assumed need to preserve endangered species, the zoo is a problematic, almost obscene site that somehow does not fit with a century exploding with an ever-increasing call for human rights. Tainted with the whiff of colonialism and great white hunters, these melancholy menageries continue to exist.
The archetypal of all collections is Noah's Ark and this template led the way for menageries of exotic animals, collected by wealthy people throughout history, as animals simultaneously disappeared from daily life. Collecting is an activity that allows for a certain amount of control and repositioning of the past, telling the story that the creator wants to be told. Susan Stewart in On Longing says that 'the collection does not displace attention to the past; rather, the past is at the service of the collection'.
With their various interpretations of this subject the selected artists explore issues surrounding animal and human behaviour, questioning why we look at captive animals, the natural and the artificial, and our physical and psychological relationships to animals.
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