W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture: Jessica Ullrich
In my talk I will discuss North American contemporary artistic practices within the framework of human-animal studies, speculative ethics of care, and entangled empathy. After
In my talk I will discuss North American contemporary artistic practices within the framework of human-animal studies, speculative ethics of care, and entangled empathy.
After the so-called animal turn, non-human animals who are involved in artworks have increasingly been considered to be co-creators of art. Interspecies Art, in which they play an active role as co-producers of art, has become a legitimate new relational art genre. This development represents an important new phase in art history because it means that non-human animals are finally being taken seriously as social, cultural, and aesthetic actors. But the aesthetic agency, creativity, and resilience of non-human animals does not play a role in all current artworks inspired by the animal turn. There is also Interspecies Art that responds more to the dependency, disposability or suffering of non-human animals and that is deeply concerned with the well-being of specific animal individuals in need. Caring for non-human animals in art is then not only represented or mediated but also materialized and embodied in very practical ways.
BIO: Jessica Ullrich is professor for art history and aesthetics at the University of Fine Arts Muenster. She studied art history, fine arts and German literature in Frankfurt as well as arts administration in Berlin. She holds a PhD in art history and has been assistant professor at the University of Arts in Berlin and at the University Nuremberg-Erlangen as well as visiting professor at the University of Fine Arts Münster and lecturer at the universities of Frankfurt and Flensburg. Before that she has worked as research assistant at the Georg-Kolbe-Museum Berlin and as head of the education department and curator for education at Kunstpalais Erlangen. She curated art exhibitions and video screenings in Berlin, Utrecht, and Sao Paulo.
Jessica has edited exhibition catalogues and collections of essays, and publishes widely articles on modern and contemporary art and on human-animal relations in art. She is a founding member of several animal-studies research groups in the German speaking countries, for example Animals in History, FITT-Forschungsinitiative Tiertheorien, IRI-Individual Rights Initiative, and Animality and Aesthetics as well as member of EACAS (European Association for Critical Animal Studies) and CLAS (Cultural Literary Animal Studies).
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