Review: How We See Animals

I visited the Making Nature: How We See Animals exhibition in Euston, and it was very relevant to my own interests. The exhibition encouraged viewers to consider the way in which we view, think, feel and value animals, and the consequences this has on the world around us. It brought together over 100 objects from literature, film, taxidermy and photography to reveal the hierarchies in our view of the natural world and consider how this affects our actions/ inactions towards the planet. The exhibition was ordered around four themes: ‘Ordering’, ‘Displaying’, Observing’ and ‘Making’ — the exhibition brought the approach of learning through looking, including a wide, fascinating array of different mediums which examined the search for an authentic encounter with nature and how humans have intentionally altered other organisms.

The exhibition made a point of how we perceive animals as being an important factor in how we understand ourselves; for instance, in 1735 human were first classed as animals by Linnaeus, while later redefined as ‘homo-sapiens’, meaning literally ‘wise-man’. It is our ability to recognise ourselves as human which separates us from other creatures.

The first piece which stuck out to me was

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