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Speculative Taxidermy


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Table of Contents

Prologue: The Carnal Immanence of Political Realism-Realism, Materiality, and Agency
Introduction: New Taxidermy Surfaces in Contemporary Art
1. Reconfiguring Animal Skins: Fragmented Histories and Manipulated Surfaces
2. A Natural History Panopticon: Power, Representation, and Animal Objectification
3. Dioramas: Power, Realism, and Decorum
4. The End of the Daydream: Taxidermy and Photography
5. Following Materiality: From Medium to Surface-Medium Specificity and Animal Visibility in the Modern Age
6. The Allure of the Veneer: Aesthetics of Speculative Taxidermy
7. This Is Not a Horse: Biopower and Animal Skins in the Anthropocene
Coda: Toward New Mythologies-the Ritual, the Sacrifice, the Interconnectedness
Appendix: Some Notes Toward a Manifesto for Artists Working with and About Taxidermy Animals, by Mark Dion and Robert Marbury

About the Author

Giovanni Aloi is a lecturer in art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sotheby's Institute of Art New York and London, and Tate Galleries. He is the author of Art and Animals (2011) and the founder and editor-in-chief of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture.


The first volume to focus on animals in a media-based subset of contemporary art, Speculative Taxidermy offers a lucid and compelling account of why animals have become serious subjects in art, and with what consequences for the history of art and biological science. There is no greater authority on the subject than Aloi. -- Susan McHugh, University of New England Speculative Taxidermy makes a fascinating contribution to the nonhuman turn and invites us to find new ways to envisage the relationships between human and nonhuman animals. It will be a significant text for ethical and political debates in animal studies and the environmental humanities. -- Hannah Stark, University of Tasmania

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