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Plush Love: Animal Anthropomorphism in Contemporary Art


Plush Love: Animal Anthropomorphism in Contemporary Art

Tousignant, Isa (2013) Plush Love: Animal Anthropomorphism in Contemporary Art. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Plush Love: Animal Anthropomorphism in Contemporary Art
Isa Tousignant

In The Open: Man and Animal, Giorgio Agamben writes: “the relation between man and animal marks the boundary of an essential domain, in which historical inquiry must necessarily confront that fringe of ultrahistory which cannot be reached without making recourse to first philosophy.” (1) With this thesis I suggest an investigation of the historical and philosophical contexts of the human/nonhuman animal relationship through the lens of fursuiting and a body of contemporary visual art production that finds inspiration within that subject.

Fursuiting is a practice undertaken by members of a subculture called the “furry fandom,” which centres on the appreciation of anthropomorphized animal characters that find their origins in the traditions of comics and animation. In addition to engaging in their own visual culture production featuring hybrid “humanimal” creatures, members of the furry fandom who don fursuits choose to dress up in full-body artificial fur costumes and perform in characters they feel express alternate identities.

This thesis aims at uncovering that phenomenon, but focuses mainly on the identification and analysis of a secondary body of visual production that has resulted from the existence of fursuiting: the work produced by contemporary Canadian and American visual artists that uses fursuiting as a theme. This body of work has never been examined as a whole.

(1) Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal, trans. Kevin Attell (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 2003), 21.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Tousignant, Isa
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:15 March 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sloan, Johanne
ID Code:977102
Deposited On:10 Jun 2013 15:59
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43
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