Los Animistas

An Installation by Tammy Singer,

Arrendondo Antunez & Alberto del Rey

April 10 – May 29, 2010

Warschaw Gallery

600 S. Pacific Ave.

San Pedro, CA 90731

TransVagrant and Warschaw Gallery are pleased to present Los Animistas, an installation of works by Tammy Singer, Arrendondo Antunez, and Alberto del Rey.

Irene Tsatsos, independent curator and former Director/Curator of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, describes the collective and its practice as follows:

Los Animistas is a three-person collective founded in 2000, at the tail end of Cuba’s Special Period, an era of economic crisis following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Based in Los Angeles and Havana, Los Animistas is comprised of a visual artist, a television producer, and a biologist who specializes in vertebrate zoology. Dr. Carlos Arredondo Antunez has taught biological sciences for over twenty years at the University of Havana; Alberto del Rey has received numerous accolades and honors for his work at Havana’s Ciudad Libertad in the field of television production; and Los Angeles resident and artist Tammy Singer is the first and, to date, only US citizen to have earned a degree at the Superior Art Institute in Havana.

With an unflinching gaze and an aura of cool, objective detachment, Los Animistas uses video, photography, scientific illustration, text, and taxidermy to create pristine tableaux of animals subjected to the will and direction of humans. Their sculptures and works on paper combine scientific analysis, images of remains, accounts of abusive treatment, and more.  As such, the creatures in Los Animistas’ artworks are seen at their most undignified, most degraded. The assumption underlying this work is that animals are perceived of as existing for human consumption, use, and pleasure. Yet, the formal qualities of the art's appearance belie the slower-burning emotional power of the work itself.  The very name of the artwork’s collaborators – Los Animistas, or “the animist” – indicates that the group identifies not just with animals but, specifically, with the notion of animism: the belief that all natural objects and indeed the universe itself have souls.  In its practice, Los Animistas considers the suffering of animals, the ethics of food production, and the nature of human and animal interaction.