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By R. Malamud

How and why do humans "frame" animals so pervasively, and what are the ramifications of this behavior? For animals, being placed right into a cultural body (a movie, an internet site, a pornographic tableau, an commercial, a cave drawing, a zoo) potential being taken out in their typical contexts, leaving them someway 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 checklist of polluting and destroying tremendous swaths of nature exhibits that we're certainly no longer masters of the ecosphere. A extra ethically actual stance in our dating to animals may still hence problem the omnipotence of our visible entry to them.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture

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To celebrate the day, two mascots dressed as pandas and took the vows on behalf of the bears. 11 Is this the flip side of the horse-copulating story? Did zoo officials wanted to make an honest panda out of Lin Hui? Why do people impose our habits, our cultural rituals, on animals? Why is it popular, and newsworthy, to impose irrelevant human institutions upon animals? Should we expect that someday all animals will be encouraged to get married before having sex? EMILY THE STOWAWAY CAT TRAVELS HOME FROM PARIS IN STYLE Milwaukee – Emily the cat is back – after flying home in the lap of luxury.

Precisely what it is the viewer has is complicated and elusive, but important. A rabbit, or any animal, has as his natural birthright a kind of integrity, a control over himself that involves a certain relationship to his environment – his nest, burrow, or hive; his tree or field – and an imagistic authenticity. There are certain ways that a rabbit can naturally be, and other ways that are artificial. indd 35 4/4/2012 11:00:06 AM 36 An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture To the extent that an image retains the authenticity of the rabbit’s context, background, and frame, the subject preserves a good deal of control over his life, his well-being, his habitat, and his existence.

Taxidermists stuff dead animals to preserve their forms as an eternal monument to human mastery over them, immortalizing them in visual culture. indd 28 4/4/2012 11:00:06 AM Famous Animals 29 displaced, framed in living rooms or art galleries or curiosity shops. ” A visual image is preserved, while the real animal is destroyed. Again, the visual culture lies. The visual image exactly contradicts the animal’s reality. The image prospers, the animal suffers. The image contains value in human culture, but the animals themselves are disenfranchised from the human economy.

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