Since the mid-1990s Angela Singer’s artworks have called into question the unnecessary violence humans subject animals to, as well as the notion that people are inherently separate from and superior to other species. For years, her work has blurred the boundaries between decoration and death, altering by using a process she calls ‘de-taxidermy’, the meaning of the trophy and the Victorian diorama.
Angela Singer is an extremely coherent artist. Over the years she has developed a solid reputation built on a body of work that fearless of aesthetic conventions has challenged us all to look at animals with different eyes. In her continuous attack to our preconceived perception and understanding of animals, Singer does not allow herself to work with living animals, nor have living creatures killed or otherwise harmed for her art. All the animal materials used in her art are old, donated and/or discarded as refuse.
Over her career, the concern with hunting and our moral and ethical approach to animal has clearly played a pivotal role. “Working with the history of each particular animal”, she says “I aim to recreate something of its death by hunt.”
As a result, her work is difficult but immediate; as abrasive as it is seductive. Her interventions on the taxidermied animal bodies are sometimes subtle, other times brutal, usually unpredictable and often arresting. At times her recycled taxidermy drips blood, at others the original animal skin has been stripped altogether to reveal the taxidermic support underneath it.
Singer has always effectively used her work, capitalizing on the abrasiveness of its botched forms, in order to raise awareness of animal sufferance as caused by human hands. Her recycling of taxidermy that was once trophy kill is to Singer a way to “honor the animals life”. Ultimately, for Singer, the main purpose of her works to make the viewer consider the morality of our willingness to use animals for our own purposes.
- Aloi, Giovanni. Animal rights and wrongs - Angela Singer. Death of the Animal. Antennae: Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, UK. Issue 7, 2008.