Date(s) - 04/18/2013
7:30 pm–8:30 pm
Sculptor and associate director of the anatomy lab at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Adelaide Paul discusses her art, her career and her experiences.
Thursday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Rust Hall, Overton Park
Adelaide Paul was born January 17, 1961 in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. She lived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 1963 to 1969. She spent the remainder of her formative years in South Orange, New Jersey. She graduated from Columbia High School, Maplewood, New Jersey, in 1979. She spent nine years between graduating high school and embarking on a college education teaching horseback riding, shoveling approximately four hundred thousand pounds of horse manure, starting young race horses, managing a stable, waiting tables and bar tending. Her travels include much of the United Kingdom and other bits of Europe, East Africa, Canada, Mexico and all but eight of the United States. Her passions include dogs, horses and other species, the study of anatomy, classical dressage and other aspects of horse training, animal welfare as both an ethical and philosophical concern, Animal behavior, music, movies, gardening, nature as a cultural construct, books on practically any subject, tattooing as an art form and social construct, fashion as a subversive activity and shopping until dropping at flea markets, junk stores and related venues. Adelaide resides in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She shares her home with two cats and five dogs and an Arabian horse (he lives in Langhorne, PA).
Since the 1940s, thousands of collies have been bred so that nine transvestite “Lassies” could perpetuate an ongoing celluloid mythology about a boy and his dog. In its extremes, American culture posits an alternately cloyingly sentimental and brutally callous relationship between humans and both domesticated and wild animals. Animals are anthropomorphized in film, fiction and popular culture. They (and their requisite accessories) are hot commodities; like all commodities, they are also disposable.
For the past eight years, I have been teaching anatomy to first year veterinary students. On a pragmatic level, rendering a body accurately on the outside is vastly facilitated by understanding the organization of the parts on the inside. What strikes me the most, however, is not how different other animals are from us human animals, but how very similar.
All organisms are dependent upon other species in one way or another; consumption in every sense of the word is integral to life as we know it. I seek to pose questions to the viewer regarding these consumer/consumed/consummated relationships by juxtaposing found and fabricated objects evoking multiple possibilities as to just who is consumed.