The Animal That Therefore I Am asks us to reimagine the boundaries between human and animal. This exhibition, named after the lectures of Jacques Derrida, uses scavenged and gleaned materials to dissolve these and other boundaries. The works in this collection examine Derrida’s assertions, shaping a place for critical response – both hybrid and chimerical – to the constructs of art, nature, and the boundaries we navigate in these environments. The collection asks viewers to decenter the human experience and emancipate the animal from the confines of its limiting socio-linguistic label. While we cannot speak for them, we can explore narrative spaces that do not belittle or patronize more-than-human-animals. Rather, this exhibition asks us to look for the ways the animal looks back.
Max Barnewitz (they/them/theirs) is a nonbinary writer, comics scholar, and zine maker based in Salt Lake City, UT. Max earned their M.A. in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from the University of Utah in 2016. Their research interests include comics, queer theory, ecocriticism, and posthumanism. Max currently works as an outreach coordinator for Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department. They also serve on the organizing committees for the Grid Zine Festival and Queer Spectra Arts Festival. Their critical writing on comics and art appears in ComicsVerse.com and local performance journal, loveDANCEmore.
Joshua Graham is a Salt Lake City based artist and educator. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Utah, where he teaches in both the College of Fine Art as well as the College of Undergraduate Studies. He received his formal art training from the Arts Students League of New York, Brigham Young University, and most recently, the University of Utah, earning a master’s degree in fine art and community-based art education. He currently maintains a studio at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art in his position as Artist-in-Residence, a year-long appointment.