Tuesday, June 11, 2024 GUESTS WELCOME

1:30 pm Central Presbyterian Church (7308 York Road @ Stevenson) & Zoom 

Considering the Nonhuman: Plants and Animals in Contemporary Art 

Paula Burleigh, assistant professor of art history, Allegheny College, and director of the Allegheny Art Gallery

This talk highlights contemporary artists whose work engages with non-human animals and plants. In various fields of critical theory, the twenty-first century has witnessed a so-called “nonhuman turn,” or a shift toward decentering a Humanist worldview in favor of a more capacious outlook that regards humans as participants in a non-hierarchical network of exchange with other species, including flora and fauna. This shift is partly catalyzed by the recognition that we live through the Anthropocene, an era of human-generated climate change. Consequently, artists increasingly respond to an ethical imperative to consider non-human subjects with empathy as we come to understand the scope of our impact on and entanglements with plants and animals. While there is a long and rich history of artistic representation of plants and animals in art, historically, artists instrumentalized both as symbols for human attributes. This lecture explores artworks that depart from established conventions for representing non-human species in order to approach their subjects with sustained curiosity and attention, and sometimes even collaboration. 

$15 fee for guests and subscribers (no fee for members)

Learn more
Add to Calendar 20240611 America/New_York LECTURE: Paula Burleigh, “Considering the Nonhuman: Plants and Animals in Contemporary Art”