Download PDF by R. Malamud: An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture

By R. Malamud

ISBN-10: 1137009829

ISBN-13: 9781137009821

How and why do humans "frame" animals so pervasively, and what are the ramifications of this behavior? For animals, being positioned right into a cultural body (a movie, an internet site, a pornographic tableau, an commercial, a cave drawing, a zoo) ability being taken out in their average contexts, leaving them in some way displaced and decontextualized. Human imaginative and prescient of the animal equates to strength over the animal. We envision ourselves as monarchs of all we survey, yet our dismal list of polluting and destroying monstrous swaths of nature exhibits that we're certainly no longer masters of the ecosphere. A extra ethically exact stance in our courting to animals may still hence problem the omnipotence of our visible entry to them.

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Do his cultural audiences really know him? What do they know of him? People like to look at animals and like to make animals do weird things. Elephants are made to paint pictures with paintbrushes taped to their trunks, chickens are made to play the piano, monkeys are made to do acrobatics and parachute jumps. In the age of mechanical reproduction, people reproduce animals a great deal. This may be regarded as an abrogation of the animals’ fecundity, especially with regard to rabbits, whose reproductive prowess is a central aspect of their cultural reputation.

Like Emily Dickinson, Moore enjoys putting her reader off guard, pulling the carpet out from under us with her syntactical twists and turns. Visible, invisible: which? Sometimes visible, sometimes not? (If so, when visible and when invisible? ) Is the jellyfish somehow, metaphysically, visible and invisible at the same time? Do we see some but not all of the animal? (If so, what parts? indd 19 4/4/2012 11:58:11 AM 20 An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture we can always see, and some we never see?

The excessively pampered dog or the ingeniously tortured elephant supplants any inclination human viewers may have had to consider an animal more critically, more honestly. The nature of a select few animals’ fame suggests something about the animal as individual, which is a rare occurrence. While animals have a range of prominent functions in human culture, that prominence usually plays out in a way that is depersonalized (deanimalized) and in which the individual animal’s integrity is effaced.

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An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture by R. Malamud


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