Sunday, 19 August 2012

ANIMAL KIND

Following on from my posting about the new Cartoon Museum exhibition, Animal Crackers...

Literature and pop culture is full of instances of animals masquerading as humans or humans donning animal masks for our entertainment: just think of the creature-gods of Ancient Egypt or the animal-people encountered by Alice in Wonderland and Looking-glass Country...


Or the indefatigable Rupert Bear and his kin...


A contemporary manifestation of this curious obsession is found in the work of Charlotte Cory who has created a unique collection of cartes de visite that present a fantastical vision of social (and zoological) life in the Victorian age.

The conceit of Charlotte's work is to take the often stiff and starchy portrait photographs of early nineteenth century men, women and children, but with their human heads and faces supplanted with photographed likenesses of creatures stuffed and preserved by courtesy of the Victorian taxidermist's art.

The results are, by turn, delightful, dotty and, every now and again, disturbing...


A fantastical new book – a kind of bizarre Victorian photograph album – crammed with several hundred of these these extraordinary images has just been issued by Black Dog Publishing at £19.95 under the title You Animal, You! accompanied by an insightful introduction by A N Wilson. The book reveals the diversity of life in the Charlotte's animal kingdom: animal-people at work – from the groves of academe, to the front-line of the Empire's battlefields – and at play – on the sportsfield, at the theatre, beside the seaside or travelling the world.

Here are few of these remarkable denizens...












3 comments:

Eudora said...

Very interesting. I don't know the english word, in spanish is "teriomorfismo" from the greek "therion" and "anthropos".

Very, very interesting because until today I never made the connection between the old worships and the cartoons....

SharonM said...

Practically all these photos give me the heebie jeebies!

Charlotte Cory said...

heebie jeebies are good! very good....
v much love
charlotte cory!