Currents Winter 2018; Vol. 34, No. 1 - Page 34

In Hamburg American Women’s Club of Hamburg Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe ANIMALS. Respect / Harmony /Subjugation Through March 4 by Shelly Shoeneshoefer Finally! Here is an exhibition that directly ques- tions the viewer about our relationships to animals. Do animals have souls? Why do we have so many mythological tales that begin with animals? What is our relationship to animals and where does the future lie as we see animals disappearing from the earth at a rapid speed. This fascinating exhibition begins with a giant replica of a cave painting in Zimbabwe dating back 30,000 years. This, plus car- ved bone pieces, show the influence and mythology that began to grow among tribal people and still catches our imagination today. exotic animals’ abilities while trying to decipher their special skills so that we humans can duplica- te them. A good example is Albrecht Dürer’s inti- mate prints of the bat, a voyage of discovery. The works shown range from old Egyptian burial pieces to works by modern artists including Joseph Beuys and Ai Weiwei. The exhibition contains all sorts of artworks from paintings, sculptures and video films to a crazy bird costume by John Paul Gauthier. The extensive collection of works presents a world- wide view of ways many different communities saw and chose to represent animals in different ma- terials. We see animals inspiring and influencing visions of mankind in religions as well as in dai- ly life. This inspiration is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the first photo ever taken was of a dog, while the first film ever made was of a cat. The won- der continues as we look towards the dog Laika, the first animal shot into space to orbit the earth. The exhibition is divided into three sections, star- ting with a look at the past and the spiritual awe with which humans regarded animals. The second section goes deeper into the scientific wonder of 34 My favorite piece is that of two giant videos, side by side, that project an elephant struggling to stand on an ice surface in a white room. He patiently tries to survive the conditions he is faced with but con- tinues to fall. It is a symbol that made me want to cry, especially when I think of powerful citizens in our own country advocating for the rights of tro- phy hunting and encouraging hunters to do more of it. I am sure they wouldn’t get this video. This exhibition is a must-see since we all need to learn from animals. We need to respect and live in har- mony with them and maybe we should grant them the respect that they need by protecting them even better. They have given us so much and, in return, they have received so little. What will this world be without animals?