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Art World? More Like SeaWorld: The Use of Live Animals as Objects of Art

By: 
Elliot Sperber

Bonnie Boime: Live Animals as Objects of Art

While non-human animals (e.g. the bulls and horses depicted in the caves of Lascaux) have been subjects of art for tens of thousands of years, in the past few decades living animals have become not mere subjects but objects of art. Unlike two or three dimensional representations of animals, or even dead animals (the stuffed goat central to Robert Rauschenberg’s “Monogram,” or Joseph Beuys’ dead hare, for instance), the use of living animals in contemporary art is becoming more and more common.