Sunaura Taylor's current body of work explores two themes that have preoccupied her art for many years: the oppression of disabled people and the oppression of animals. These two seemingly separate areas find their intersections in the two categories of ability and value. Who has value and why? Which abilities are valued and which are not? Despite the abundance of disability references within animal rights texts, and the fact that many animal rights philosophies are grounded in a comparison to disability (Peter Singer's Animal Liberation being the most famous example), very little work has been done to explore animal rights through a disability studies lens and vice versa.
The work in this show examines these intersections by exploring various photographic discourses of animals and disabled people, including butcher diagram, medical photographs and sideshow images. Through painting Taylor explores these photographic histories and the theoretical and social concepts that have evolved with them. With this work Sunaura Taylor asks controversial and challenging questions about rights, responsibility, independence and what it means to be compared to an animal.
Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer and activist living in Oakland, CA. Her artworks have been exhibited at venues across the country, including the CUE Art Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Berkeley Art Museum. She is the recipient of a Sacatar Foundation Fellowship, a Wynn Newhouse Award, and most recently a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008). Her published work includes The Right Not to Work: Disability and Capitalism (Monthly Review, 2004), Military Waste In Our Drinking Water (With Astra Taylor, 2006- nominated for a Project Censored Award 2007) and Is It Possible to Be a Conscientious Meat Eater? (Alternet, February 18th, 2009 with Alexander Taylor). Taylor recently worked with philosopher Judith Butler, on Astra Taylor's film Examined Life (Zeitgeist 2008). She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Art Practice with her MFA in 2008.