'Living flesh': Animal-human surfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While historically animal art served cultural ends toward appropriating and domesticating animals, contemporary art considers the possibility of meeting animals outside of human terrains and outside of cultural ideas about human and animal subjectivity. In such art the relationship between canvas as surface and animal body as surface undoes historical appropriation of the animal. The work of artists Olly and Suzi provides a test case for breaching the divide between human worlding and the 'poor in world' or mere surface lives of the animal as explicated by Martin Heidegger. The artists' paper spread out as surface between the animal and the artists creates a contact zone between the surface lives of animals and the work of art. What develops is a productive site for pidgin language that counters human interiority as the space of rational thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-121
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Visual Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Agamben
  • Animal
  • Contact zone
  • Contemporary art
  • Heidegger
  • Language
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of ''Living flesh': Animal-human surfaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this