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Animal bodies in art - animal art 1. Taxidermy Essay (Essay Sample)


Non-human animals are appreciated, if they are appreciated at all, in large part for their beauty. Yes, some are appreciated for their labor, and some are regarded by some people as good to eat, and some are valued as companions, and even best friends. But when they are simply allowed to live and be animals, they are often found to be very beautiful.
In this assignment we take a look at a form of art called "botched taxidermy." When we think of taxidermy, most of us probably think of the deer head or stuffed fish on the wall. What we probably do not think about is the artifacts that are shown and discussed in the attached journal. [I have also sent the reading to you in an email in case it does not work here]
There is vastly more material here than one can easily assimilate in the short time that we have, and I decided not to choose for you which of the artists to consider -- you will choose. But I would like for everyone to read the brief opening editorial by Giovanni Aloi and the opening essay by Steve Baker called "something's gone wrong again."
Then, peruse the remaining 10 essays and choose two artists to whose work you would like to discuss, and share thoughts about those artists with your group. In sharing your thoughts about the two artists you choose, try to make links back to ideas that Steve Baker offers in his introductory essay. Of course, links that you make to your general or specific attitudes towards non-human animals, and toward art that uses, or depicts, non-human animals in any way, will be valuable for us to hear about as well.


The main reasons why people keep animals are for food, security, or as companions. Today it is hard to deny that in many cases people have become very attached to their non-human companions. This attachment has made some people unwilling to accept the death of their animal companions. Taxidermy gets into this picture when these people prefer their animal companions preserved as being alive even after death. 

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