We Look at Animals Because
We Look at Animals Because
94 pages, softcover with thermography, digitally printed interior
This publication is produced in conjunction with the exhibition We Look At Animals Because, curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour and co-presented by Critical Distance Centre for Curators and SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto in 2018. Featuring work by: Quratulain Butt, Khaled Hourani, Maha Maamoun, Smriti Mehra, Huma Mulji, Ed Panar, Alex Sheriff, and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.
Conceived as a response to John Berger’s 1977 essay “Why Look At Animals,” the exhibition features artists that take animals as their subjects, and artworks that investigate the complex relationships between human and animal.
As an interpretative exercise for this publication, Touq and Mansour have looked at the animals depicted by the exhibiting artists and reimagined their artworks through observations and descriptions in relation to selected passages from Berger’s essay. Following his unmatched ability to encourage his readers to look, and look again, this book is an invitation to our readers—young and old—to similarly question the dynamics between imagination and power through playful eyes. Information on the artists and the exhibition is provided in the second section of this publication, followed by a reprint of the full essay by Berger as originally published in his 1980 collection of critical writings, About Looking.
CuratorsToleen Touq, Nahed Mansour
ArtistsAndrea Luka Zimmerman, Alex Sheriff, Ed Panar, Huma Mulji, Smriti Mehra, Maha Maamoun, Khaled Hourani, Quratulain Butt
CollectionCDCC Catalogues, Exhibition Catalogue
EXHIBITION: We Look at Animals BecauseJanuary 25, 2018 - March 25, 2018
Critical Distance is pleased to present We Look at Animals Because, an exhibition that gazes on animality. Presented in partnership with South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), the exhibition features works by Quratulain Butt, Khaled Hourani, Maha Maamoun, Smriti Mehra, Huma Mulji, Ed Panar, Alex Sheriff, and Andrea Luka Zimmerman, and curated by Toleen Touq and Nahed Mansour.Find out more
Toleen Touq is a curator, cultural producer and writer who has recently moved to Toronto. Her approach takes site-responsiveness as a methodology to build radical pedagogical platforms and alternative knowledge systems.Find out more
Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Andrea Luka Zimmerman studied at Central St. Martins (where she now teaches) for her PhD. She won the Artangel Open Award for her collaborative feature drama Cycle (2017) with Adrian Jackson. Her feature documentary Estate, a Reverie (2015), tracks the passing of the Haggerston Estate in East London and the utopian promise of social housing it once offered.Find out more
Huma Mulji works with sculpture, photography, drawing, and painting, creating material juxtapositions which are attentive to the absurd, and question notions of certainty, and truth. Her works broadly address notions of failure and neglect, endurance and transformation.Find out more
Smriti Mehra is a video artist. Interacting with Bangalore’s ever changing, ever-growing residents with their multilingual, cultural, economic backgrounds, she has become a mapmaker of the city’s desires, hopes, needs, dreams and disparities.Find out more
Maha Maamoun is a Cairo-based Egyptian artist. Her work is generally interested in examining the form, function and currency of common cultural visual and literary images as an entry point to investigating the cultural fabric that we weave and are weaved into.Find out more
Khaled Hourani lives and works in Ramallah. He was the Artistic Director 2007-2010 and the Director of the International Academy of Art Palestine from 2010 to 2013. Previously worked as General Director of the Fine Arts Department in the Palestinian Ministry of Culture (2004-06).Find out more
Quratulain Butt was born in Rawalpindi Pakistan in 1980. She is trained as a Miniature painter and sculptor at the National College of the Arts Lahore, Pakistan and Hunerkada academy of visual and Performing Arts Islamabad, Pakistan. Quratulain’s work shares concerns like social hierarchy, war conflict, hypocrisy and self reflection/hope.Find out more