Skip to main content

My View - Artis Talk

Event Label
Guided Tour
Organisational Units
Location Description
Kunsthalle Wien
Museumsplatz 1
1070 Wien Austria

Joint guided tour of the exhibition Handspells. Kunsthalle Wien Prize 2021 with Nora Severios and Judith Benz-Schwarzburg.

The work of Nora Severios often returns to the question of animals and the means of their appropriation by humans: we spin the hair of sheep into textile products, we train horses for military use or for sports, we set up “wild” and “domesticated” animals as opposed categories.

Together with Judith Benz-Schwarzburg (specialist in animal-related ethics at the Messerli Research Institute, Veterinary University of Vienna), Severios will lead a tour formulating perspectives and reflections on problems and fractures in the relationship between humans and animals: What is it about human’s need for proximity to animals? Must it always occur within an unmistakably and in part brutally instrumental relationship? What perspectives are opened up if science and ethics reveal ever more similarities between humans and other species? How might these perspectives inform interaction with animals in general and in particular the use of animals – dead or alive, as metaphor or material – in contemporary art?

Nora Severios (*1986 in Vienna) studied fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 2021, she completed her diploma studies in the class for art and photography supervised by Martin Guttmann, Michael Höpfner, Saskia Te Nicklin, and Sonia Leimer.

Judith Benz-Schwarzburg is a specialist in animal-related ethics at Messerli Forschungsinstitut at Vetmeduni Wien. Her research addresses complex social and cognitive capabilities observed in animals in areas such as culture, language and “theory of mind”, along with the implications for the relationship between humans and other animals. Since 2018 she has been leading a research group on moral capacity in animals, with emphasis on empathy and care among other kinds of animal behavior. Her research supports an increasingly influential view of animals as highly complex creatures, capable of suffering despite humans’ near-total failure to acknowledge that capacity.

My View is a program series in which experts, non-experts and interesting people are invited to present their personal view on the exhibition.