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Dead or Alive: Animal Bodies in the Museum

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Dead or Alive: Animal Bodies in the Museum

Le Gallais, Jacob (2017) Dead or Alive: Animal Bodies in the Museum. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The purpose of my thesis is to explore the strange, seductive, and often complicated world of museum taxidermy. More specifically, the research aims to examine what roles art-making (in the form of participatory in-museum practice and subsequent studio-based research-creation) can play in conversations around taxidermied animals, and how these acts of art-making contribute to the generation of knowledge about the cultural display of animal bodies and wider discourses surrounding animal issues. This thesis has been realized in two distinct phases, firstly a participatory/collaborative art making museum intervention at the Redpath Museum at McGill University. The second phase of this research has been centred on the creation of a series of research-creation artworks, embodying and reconstructing the museum intervention and surrounding scholarship. Both phases have centred on four specimens of zoological museum taxidermy on display at the Redpath; a polar bear, a gorilla, a whooping crane, and a beaver diorama. Overall, the intervention at the Redpath Museum resulted in engaging a myriad of discourses around animal bodies activated as social objects. These discourses were then re-constructed and further disseminated through a process of research-creation in the form of eight mixed-method watercolour paintings/collages. These paintings/collages re-conceptualized the Redpath Museum itself as functioning as a kind of diorama, in order to highlight the differing contexts involved in the cultural display of animal bodies in museum spaces versus the lives of animals in the wild.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Le Gallais, Jacob
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art Education
Date:December 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Vaughan, Kathleen
ID Code:983835
Deposited By: JACOB ANTHONY LE GALLAIS
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 01:04
Last Modified:11 Jun 2018 01:04

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  • Dead or Alive: Animal Bodies in the Museum. (deposited 11 Jun 2018 01:04) [Currently Displayed]
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