The Cow Goes Moo

August 21, 2008

By Mike Landry

David Harper's "When the rain comes" photo: Steve Farmer

The sheep goes baa. The pig goes oink oink. And the director of the Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Peter Dykhuis, goes wild with his new show Exalted Beings: Animal Relationships. Rather than featuring artists describing animals, Dykhuis, who curated the show, found artists who use animals to expose our relationships with ourselves.

The idea for the show came to him almost a decade ago after watching Kelly Mark‘s video, Sniff, wherein a cat is shown sniffing various human objects like a knife, a beer bottle and a bible, with indifference.

“Since the first time I saw it I just knew it was a really profound work of art,” says Dykhuis. “It wasn’t about the cat as subject matter, and it wasn’t necessarily about the human being, but it was about the relationship of objects from human culture to animal culture.”


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