terça-feira, 28 de julho de 2015

Feminism and Animals: Revenge Through Contemporary Art

by Miguel Bonneville

The principal objective of this paper is to demonstrate how feminist contemporary artists have used animals as metaphors in their works in order to expiate their relations with sexism.
Since 2003, my work has been about exploring the possibilities of autobiography and it is strongly related with feminist performance art as well as feminist contemporary art in general. 

The use of animals in feminist contemporary art is constant – from the paintings of Paula Rego to the sculptures of Kiki Smith and the performances of Ana Mendieta -, for the representation of men through a non-human animal form, or through anthropomorphism (the personification of animals) in works of art allow the artists to present a less shocking revenge (in Paula Rego’s case, for example, she states that “It’s easier if you make them into animals because you can do things to animals that you can’t do to people because it’s too shocking. You can cut off a person’s tail – like in ‘Wife Cuts Off Red Monkey’s Tail’ - which is a form of revenge for her.”), and it also allows them to provide the spectator with a wider range of possible readings and meanings, making it less dramatic and more detached.
This paper is a personal odyssey where I will describe some autobiographical experiences and how they have influenced my work during that last twelve years; how my experiences with sexism have been transposed into art and how men became non-human animals in my performances. I will also, in parallel, discuss, relate and give examples of feminist artists who have also worked with animal imagery – Hayley Newman, Rebecca Horn, Sophie Calle, Marina Abramovic, Guerrilla Girls, among others.


Miguel Bonneville (Portugal, 1985) completed the Acting Course at Academia Contemporânea do Espectáculo (2000-2003), the Visual Arts Course at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2006), the ‘Autobiographies, Life Stories and Artist’s Lives’ course at CIES-ISCTE (2008), the ‘Archive – Organization and Maintenance’ course at Citeforma (2013) and the ‘Sewing ideas’ course at Magestil (2013). 
Whether in performances, drawings, photographs, music, artist's books, Miguel Bonneville introduces us to autobiographical stories focused on the deconstruction and reconstruction of identity. 
He presents his work throughout art galleries and international festivals, namely the projects 'Family Project’, ‘Miguel Bonneville’ and ‘The importance of being…’, which have been showed in Spain, Germany, Poland, Estonia, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, USA and China.
He collaborates regularly with artists such as Carlota Lagido, David Bonneville, Sonia Baptista, Joana Linda, Joana Craveiro and Maria Gil, having also collaborated with Francisco Camacho, Teatro Praga, La Ribot, AVaspo, among others.
Bonneville has participated in artistic residencies like Sítio das Artes / Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon, 2007), Homesession, (Barcelona, 2008), Mugatxoan / Serralves Foundation (Porto, 2010), Transeuropa2012 (Hildesheim, 2012), Arts Printing House (Vilnius, 2013), Arte y Desarrollo (Madrid, 2014) and Azala (Lasierra, 2014), and has given lectures about his work in Universities (FBAUP, ESAD, BBAA) as well as Contemporary Art Centers and Festivals (Iberia Center for Contemporary Art – Beijing, Alhóndiga – Bilbao, CAM – Gulbenkian).
He was part of the artistic nucleus of the contemporary dance production company Eira (2004-2006) and contemporary art gallery Galeria 3+1 Arte Contemporânea (2009-2013).
He works and lives in Lisbon, Portugal.

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