Cole Swanson

Specimen Hides, 2021
Hand-prepared mineral and bone-based colors on wasli paper, entomology pins, wood, and fabric

Natural history display methodologies have, over time, shaped our conceptions of animals. While the skins of mammals are often presented in museums as naturalistic taxidermy mounts, insects are pinned to entomological boards with their wings spread open. These display modalities fulfill more than scientific necessity. They implicitly foreground the defining role our anthropocentric perspectives play in assigning value to animal lives based on species membership and scale of the body. Carefully painted on paper, these miniaturized cowhides problematize the relationship between representation and indexicality, observation and consumption.

Crioulo Lageano
Osso Preto
Nellore (Jabriel)

Courtesy of the artist.