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Looking at both pets and wildlife, Animalism explored the presence of animals in modern media and investigated our curious, contradictory and sometimes unsettling relationship with the animal world.


Animalism investigated contemporary visual media responses to our complex relationship with the animal world, offering an alternative view to the anthropomorphic imagery in films, television documentaries and wildlife photography. It examined the variety of ways in which photography and cinema have represented the inextricable similarities between animals and humans while considering how we have also used those media to reinforce our differences.

Works on display included Keith Arnatt’s seminal, though rarely seen, Walking the Dog series: James Mollison’s intimate and moving portraits of orphaned or maltreated apes; The Hyena and Other Men by Pieter Hugo, depicting performing animals in Nigeria; and the work of Brent Stirton, who has photographed massacred gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The exhibition featured new work from both Jill Cole and Chrystel Lebas. Other photographers and filmmakers represented in Animalism included Angela Bartram, Sidney Lumet, Sam Easterton, Wassink Lundgren, Erik Kessels and Penny Klepuszewska.

Part of the Science Museum Group