Or visited, as the case may be. Animal Architecture was present at the opening reception of Allison Hunter’s Zoosphere this last Friday and we have to say that we were quite moved and impressed by the show. Allison has created an ethereal environment where animals, some projected large, some diminished, emerge out of the dark and enchant us. There is something both beautiful and haunting about the exhibition, and we have the feeling that there may be more to say about what we artfully don’t see than what we do.
What we do see are animals stunningly rendered in saturated, vibrant colors and yet, there is a distinct absence in the room (ghost?) — for indeed, there are no animals here…well except for ourselves in the gallery. The second absence (gap or removal) is between then animals and their environments. Hunter has extracted many creatures from their typical surrounds and the animals are seen cleaning, pruning, pawing and digging against a deep black background. The effect for us was to focus our attention on the animal itself thereby creating a kind of animal objecthood or symbolism — where the frog becomes a figure of itself or the alligator-eye played as a kind of zoo-synechdoche in the parole of the exhibition.
It is quite likely that we failed to grasp the entirety of Ms. Hunter’s thesis but we left feeling happy and piqued, contemplating the knowns and un-knows of the animal kingdom all the way home.