The Animal That Therefore I Am
Making visible the invisible I
opening October 19th, 2019, 6 pm
until January 18th, 2020
For this exhibition, la_cápsula will use bestiaries —books that became very popular during the middle ages, containing illustrations and descriptions of animals (real, imaginary and monstrous)— as its source of inspiration. Since they first appeared, bestiaries had the objective of allowing humans to read nature “as if it were a book”, in order to reveal, classify and control the world known and unknown. Additionally, they used animals as symbols that served to convey moral lessons through metaphors and fables.
The exhibition will appropriate the idea and structure of a bestiary in oder to make comments about some of the environmental and political challenges which we currently face. Specifically, it will focus on the Bestiary of Don Juan de Austria (1570), the most important bestiary written in Spanish language, and it will use the titles of its chapters to structure the show.
The artworks chosen for the exhibition will function together as a “catalogue” of animals and beasts that will point to possible worlds outside of our anthropocentrism. They will make the audience think, from multiple points of view, some of the issues of our human world and of the other worlds that are part of this planet.
Fundamental to the exhibition will be the concept of visibility/invisibility, from a historical point of view. Since the Renaissance, a "visualizing procedure” started happening: with the aim of achieving the correct vision of nature, the scientific image —drawing, engraving— became the actual object of scientific studies, taking the place of the physical animal, plant, etc. At the same time, scientific discourse started separating human beings from nature and animals, leading to the marginalization and disappearance of non-human animals from human daily life. The exhibition will seek to subvert this dominant narrative of Western modernity and make us question how we have learned to look at animals/beasts. The artworks included either replicate or transgress this human-nature-non-human relationship and its in/visibility.
THE ANIMAL THAT THEREFORE I AM will be the first of two exhibitions addressing the concept of “Making visible the invisible”.
Denilson Baniwa - Brasil
Marco Barotti - Italy
Selina Baumann - Switzerland
Colectivo Extinto - Mexico
Michael Günzburger - Switzerland
Julieta Hanono - Argentina
Mateo Pizarro - Colombia
Horacio Quiroz - Mexico
The Beasts, by Enrique Arriaga - Mexico (November 30th, 2019)
Mischwesen werde ich sein, by Dalia Donadio - Switzerland (December 7th, 2019)