Cut Me Up Issue 8: Guided by Instinct, curated by Naomi White, is a selection of 18 artworks that explore humans’ complex relationships with animals, and the implications these relationships have on our lives and planet.
In our relationship to animals, there are many contradictions. As John Berger declares in Why Look At Animals, “Animals first entered the imagination as messengers and promises. For example, the domestication of cattle did not begin as a simple prospect of milk and meat. Cattle had magical functions, sometimes oracular, sometimes sacrificial.” We mythologize and revere animals, yet sacrifice, tame, kill and consume them. What does that say about us as a species?
The artists in this issue investigate the dualistic meanings which animals embody and the contradictions in ourselves that this relationship illuminates. Exploring our paradoxical desires to nurture, love, dominate and consume animals, the artists’ responses range from tenderness to concern, from joy to enchantment.
– NAOMI WHITE Artist and Educator