• footnote 7

    nanoq: flat out and bluesome.

    nanoq: flat out and bluesome, centres around the artists’ survey of taxidermic polar bears in the United Kingdom they conducted between 2001-2006. Having located the polar bears, the artists visited the private and public zoological collections to photograph each specimen in situ. During this time they researched the respective provenances, tracing each back to the moment, place and circumstances of the living bear’s encounter with man in the arctic. Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson’s works at the State Darwin Museum Moscow entitled respectively; nanoq and Vanishing Point: Where Species Meet demonstrate Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson’s on-going research into human and animal relations and how these contact zones inform us about human behaviour and our relationship to the environment. nanoq involves ‘dead’, stuffed animal bodies and Vanishing Point depicts the offering of hospitality to living beings – a contrast of significance drawn in anticipation of a critical engagement with their context here the collection of the State Darwin Museum. The common denominator, in siting these two works is the human interface, – without the human-contact there would be no zoology collection. To open up this ‘seamless’ space between life and death in the museums’ glass vitrines we propose as a starting point the imagining of life, lived previously in these bodies. The boundaries and possibilities of meetings between human and animal is then further tested in Vanishing Point when the cultural acts of hospitality and the gift are offered as proposed for a meeting between species. Together the works probe questions regarding the culture/nature construct and possible alternatives to anthropocentric approaches in pursuit of sustainability [...] (Photography, 2006)

    Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson 1

    1. Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson are a collaborative art partnership. Their art practice is research-based and socially-engaged, exploring issues of history, culture and environment in relation to both humans and non-human animals. Through their practice they set out to challenge and deconstruct various notions and degrees of ‘wilderness’. Underpinning much of what they do are issues of psychological and physical displacement or realignment in relation to land and environment and the effect of these upon cultural perspectives. Their artworks have been exhibited widely throughout the UK and internationally. They are frequent speakers at international conferences on issues related to their practice and their works have been written on and cited as contributive to knowledge in the expanded field of research-based art practice. They conduct their practice from bases in Iceland, the north of England and Sweden.