Abbas Akhavan

Fatigues, 2014

Abbas Akhavan
Dimensions and medium
Mounted animals, 3 elements (White-tailed deer, American red fox, North American porcupine), Variable dimensions
Artwork description
Produced by La Biennale de Montréal, Fatigues is an installation by Abbas Akhavan composed of taxidermied animals in poses reminiscent of their death. Fixed in perpetual lifelessness, the various birds and mammals positioned inconspicuously within the Musée d’art contemporain’s galleries during La Biennale de Montréal 2014, L’avenir (looking forward), startled by their presence, rendering their status as works of art even more uncertain. Avoiding dramatization, Akhavan points to the precariousness of life rather than the inevitability of death, and seeks to trigger empathy within the viewer. This body of work is deliberately installed in dimly lit corners and other peripheral spaces of the museum, with no accompanying labels or didactic panels. The animals in the installation were not sourced from the fur trade or trapped as game. With the exception of the white-tailed deer, which was hunted for consumption, the mammals died of natural causes or were killed by vehicles on the road, and the birds died from colliding with buildings.

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