Contemporary art has recently taken a particular interest in the animal world – not surprising given current debates on the evolution of natural history and the unprecedented ecological upheavals taking place in the natural world. This publication offers an opportunity to re-examine just what shapes our experience and understanding of nature and animals through mythology, natural science, ecology, ideology and, increasingly critically, the economy. Twenty artists from Canada and around the world question the place accorded animals and nature in today’s universe. Among them David Altmejd offers a work conceived specifically for the occasion,Trevor Gould creates an installation for the Sculpture Garden and – in a major Canadian premier – dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei presents Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold. With essays and illustrations presented and organized to remind the reader of a natural history manual, the book reads as an encyclopedia of ideas about animals and their relationship to humans and to art.

Participating artists:  Ai Weiwei, David Altmejd, Shary Boyle, Matthew Day Jackson, Mark Dion, Nathalie Djurberg, Jason Dodge, Trevor Gould, Renée Green, Rachel Harisson, Mona Hatoum, Pierre Huyghe, Brian Jungen, Liz Magor, Ugo Rondinone, Kevin Schmidt, David Shrigley, Kiki Smith, Haim Steinba, and Jana Sterbak. 

Marie Fraser avec Dominique Allard, François LeTourneux, Julie-Ann Latulippe
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal
240 pages, 90 col. ill. 9.5 x 6.5 in. softcover