‘Fatigues’ (2014) Taxidermy animals, temporary tattoos.
‘Fatigues’ consists of a series of taxidermy animals mounted in postures that cast them as dead creatures instead of the more customary practice of representing animals as lifelike or in action. Having been killed and skinned, these animals have now been assigned to a state of perpetual death, making them “doubly dead,” so to speak. Heightening the uncanniness of the work, the animals have been placed casually throughout the Musée d’art contemporain’s galleries and public spaces, in direct or peripheral sightlines, where one would not expect to find an artwork on display. The discreet nature of their placement is also designed to emphasize pathos and call on empathy. By avoiding narrative, proper lighting, and didactic labels, the work hopes to trigger an encounter in the gallery, an encounter with animals, which we experience daily in their perpetual state of absence and disappearance.
The second component of ‘Fatigues’ is working with the Musée’s education workshops. The artist has designed a new activity wherein children and teens can select, from a chart, a face-paint pattern and temporary tattoos that disables facial recognition surveillance software. Weekly, on a given day, facilitators paint the patterns on the participants’ faces. Digital snapshots of the painted faces are printed on letter-size sheets of paper and posted casually on the walls outside the workshops.
‘Fatigues’ is produced by La Biennale de Montréal for BNLMTL 2014, L’avenir / Looking Forward
With the exception of the white-tailed deer, which was hunted for consumption, all mammals used in this installation were the result of accidental collisions with cars and the the birds died from collisions with buildings.
Images by Paul Litherland