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January 31, 2013

‘Animatopoeia’ echoes unfamiliar ideas, animal imagery

By Aziza Doleh

An unusual idea inspiring the most unusual kind of artwork is the focus of the ongoing exhibition, Animatopoeia: A Most Peculiar (Post Modern) Bestiary in The Galleries at Cleveland State. It features 19 contemporary artists.

The idea for this exhibition came out of the post-modern readings in an art theory class four years ago.

These works of art came from the idea of animal imagery from a list of categories of animal, by post-modern thinker and social theorist Michael PHOTO BY AZIZA DOLEHFoucault in his influential book, “The Order of Things” on the origins of social sciences. In a way of a quote by Jorge Luis Borges’ Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge’s Taxonomy in turn claims from a translation of an ancient Chinese encyclopedia discovered by translator Franz Kuhn.

“This exhibition brings together a number of works that echo the unfamiliar ideas presented in the Floucault’s list,” said Robert Thurmer, director of Galleries at Cleveland State.

Exhibition curator Omid Tavakoli, senior art history major, brought together a number of unusual pieces of work that enlighten, fascinate, and engage admirers.

“I hope when people stop in they leave with a memory,” said Tavakoli. “Seeing the work, you don’t have to be an art historian to appreciate these beautiful works of art.”

All the artists featured stand out in their own unique way. The artworks use real parts, needles, etc. Every piece evokes curiosity.

The biggest piece of them all is “In Bocca Al Lupo” by artist Beth Cavener Stichter, who looks at the darker side of the human condition by cloaking it in animal skin.

“I think we all did a great job with the exhibition,” said Tavakoli. “I think this was the blockbuster for the gallery.”

The show will continue to be free and open to the public until March 2, 2013.

Exhibit hours: 
Monday and Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.,
Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and o Saturday noon to 8 p.m.

The Galleries are located at 1307 Euclid Ave. in the Cowell and Hubbard building.