Brian Andrews: Amphibian Hominid

  • ©2005, Brian Andrews



    Amphibian Hominid


Creation Year:



    Lightjet print


    14 inches x 20 inches


Artist Statement:

    In the current discourses of art, the animal is seen as a representation, a symbol of our cultural projections and anthropomorphisms
    surrounding our ideas of nature. One goal of my work is to question the boundaries between contemporary culture and the construct of nature, and to explore how elements of artificiality and technology compound and distort these relationships. My current artistic investigation, Hominid, is a series of digitally constructed images composited as radiographs of humanoid anatomies. The images address the “hominids” with scientific lucidity, yet maintain an emotion of vulnerability as the figures betray the contradictions of their physicality. It is my intention to confront the viewer with images and objects that reside on the uncomfortable line between the natural and the technological, the living and the automaton. To achieve these ends, I recontextualize taxidermied animals, as well as their environments, via the photography, film, and video. The Bambi series recreates visual tableaux from the popular film in order to illuminate and undermine the cultural narratives invested in our ideas of nature. The images are rendered photo-realistically, to infuse the viewer in the tableaux; yet maintain a preternatural sense of untruthfulness, highlighting their internal fictions. Humanity Diptych induces the viewer into this mire of ontology. In two larger-than-life portraits, taxidermied primates are captured posing for the camera. Viewers are enticed to empathize with the emotionally human expressions, but they are betrayed by an uncanny undercurrent of the chimpanzees’ physical animality and the technological artifice of their glass eyes. As Steve Baker writes, “It is the animal which more than anything else prompts a rethinking of what it is to be a human ‘subject,’ and which points to the shortcomings of earlier philosophical accounts of the human.”1 In exploring the representation of the animal, my images seek to inform the indeterminate ground between nature, humanity, and the technological.