Thursday, January 11, 2007

Urban Beast

I came across Urban Beast while looking for information about the practice of tying stuffed animals to the front of trucks. Wonderful and amazing.

What is it? (From the sites FAQ)

You have a choice in how you want that answered. There are two answers to chose from. For a literal answer scroll down to Answer Number 1. For a lateral answer scroll down to Answer Number 2.

#1 Urban Beasts are recycled skins of thrown out stuffed animals taxidermied to create feral relatives. Often displayed in community gardens, abandoned lots and in trees, an Anthology of their stories was developed to illustrate Humans' role as stewards of their environments.

#2 The Urban Beast Project began when I was given 800 stuffed animals from a photoshoot for the Delias Clothings Company. (to give you an idea of what 800 stuffed animals looks like, they completely filled the Martin's Pretzel Chevy Van). I shot some portraits, made a Voyager's outfit for a wedding, gave away a few hundred that had been laundered and then started to make beasts.

I had been Photographing Stuffed animals tied to the grill of trucks as I skated around NYC and became obsessed with the symbolism of these bedroom pets being assaulted by the elements. I began to envision stuffed animals going feral and running amok in the city. Drawing on Jorge Luis Borges' "The Book of Imaginary Beings", (which is a reference collection of animals from literature ranging from Poe to the Qur'an), as well as Steven Garber's "the Urban Naturalist" (illustrating the city as a beneficial habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna), I wrote stories that highlighted the importance of preserving imagination within the structure of civilization.

I believe that it is truly important to have a belief in the possibility of the existence of Bigfoot, The Jersey Devil or Chessie. These Beliefs in "impossibility" allow for the presence of awe and wonderment. Even if the US Military takes the name "Bigfoot" and slapped it on the side of a plane, people like Octogenarian Vance Orchard, in Washington State, still search for Sasquatch.

There is also the the dichotomy of Wild (unsafe)/Domesticated (safe) to address. Some children were introduced and fell in love with llamas in "Is you mama a llama?", but see what happens when they are face to face with one in a field...

SEE ALSO: My post entitled: Maintaining a Sense of Uncertainty.

Professor's Bigfoot Research Criticized.


Nick Z. said...

Interesting. I remember there was a student at MCAD that was working on a similar project.

If you like that you might also like this:

Tom Sherman said...

Like Roguetaxidermy! I love them. I bought a 2 headed chick from them years ago!

Its name it clickity clack