My work originates as a response to a sense of deep dissatisfaction about environmental devastation. As a society, we seem to have accepted an underlying assumption of the unquestionable superiority of human beings towards nature, which allows us to justify the ongoing destruction of our wildlife, with all the fauna and flora it encompasses…continue reading >
This body of work entitled DO-MES-TI-CA-TED (2009-2015) explores the cultural values that lie behind the interaction between animals and humans, while demonstrating the great variety of forms this relationship can take. In addition, it expands upon the standard definition of the term “domesticated” to include animals whose existence is altered by human interaction. Thus, we would find trophy hunts that decorate the outside of cabins; the coloured fish and taxidermied animals that embellish our indoor and outdoor living spaces, the landscaped garden that determines the type of insects that would inhabit it, the fences that mark our agricultural land and limit the movement of animals in the landscape, the exotic…
THE ZOO / EL ZOOLÓGICO (2005-2011)
The Zoo project is an attempt to understand the forces that perpetuate the Zoo as a social and educational institution and to understand the gap which I feel exists between contemporary human beings and their animal counterparts; as well, it aims to identify some of the current philosophical trends in order to provide ideological alternatives to close this dichotomy.
By taking a close look at animal enclosures, (Gil, 2005-2011) and examining them through the theoretical framework of various artists and intellectuals investigating cultural attitudes towards animals, I hope the viewer will gain new insights into the attitudes and values that determine our perceptions and treatment of animals in contemporary western societies.
TRAJECTORY / TRAYECTORIA (2005-2007)
This photographic installation pays tribute to the Monarch butterfly migration across the North American continent. After spending the spring and summer in what is now Canada and the United States, an estimated one hundred million Monarchs fly South to Mexico, where they hibernate in a semi-dormant state over the winter. They wake up in March and April during the mating season, and fly north again to complete their migratory cycle.
Although most of the images for this installation were taken in the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary El Rosario, in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, my intention was to develop the concept of trajectory as a route rather than a fixed geographical location.
ORÍGENES / ORIGINES (2005)
The installation project entitled Origins was developed as a result of a personal inquiry into the nature of our relationship with prehistoric animals. It was inspired by a visit to the Burgess Shale in Alberta. The Burgess Shale contains fossils belonging to the Cambrian era (544 million years ago), which have gradually resurfaced to the crust of the Earth. At the time such living organisms existed, the North American continent was tilted 90 degrees…
ENCLOSURES / ENCIERROS (1999-2003)
These series of images are the result of an inquiry into animal iconography while working at the Banff Center for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. They include photographs taken at the Glenbow museum, the Calgary Stampede and at a petting zoo (1999 -2003).
These photographs reflect the structures of our systems of knowledge aimed at communicating our understanding of the animal world…
CAUTION SIGNS / SEÑALES DE ALERTA (2000-2003)
These series of images were inspired by the original warning signs used by the Department of Highways in Canada. They reflect the contradiction between the presence of these signs and the reality of animals, which cannot differentiate between highways and wilderness. Hundreds of animals are killed each year by highway traffic. My work depicts the point where the urban surroundings meet the rural world…
ENCOUNTERS / ENCUENTROS (1985-1998)
One of my first artistic experiences as a child was finding a sick pigeon by the road in front of my grandmother’s home. I remember holding this bird in my hands and experiencing a deep sense of wonder towards the beauty of this animal which was unable to fly. The following morning I drew that pigeon in my journal at school and was surprised by the resemblance of my drawing to the real pigeon. There was something in that illustration that captured the complexity of my feelings about the beautiful bird…