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Bill Burns, Trevor Gould, Mark Vatnsdal
May 7th 1997
Lancement de la publication The Life of Animals Living in the Shadow of the Twentieth Century

The field guide is a collaborative book work between Montréal artists Bill Burns, Trevor Gould and Mark Vatnsdal. In three volumes, the book work presents a variety of themes exploring the role of guide books in representing animals. This current project continues a curatorial programme through which Optica is endevouring to find unconventional ways of allowing art to enter into life in the city. It proposes ways of re-classifying and re-imagining the site of the uniquely crafted artifact and the political economy of the relationship between the artist and the gallery.

How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats explores the rhetoric of environmental activism and such ecological rescue missions as the Biodome. The companion volume, Montréal Zoo reflects on the evolution and the history of the zoological garden. Its illustrations make apparent the utopian values embodied in zoo displays. The last addition to the set, Animal Handbook proposes that the care and nurturing of animals is a deeply emotional activity that can be easily and mistakenly conflated with the care and nurturing of people.

All three volumes constitute an intriguing contribution to the discussion surrounding our relationships and sentiments toward creatures and nature. A limited boxed edition will be available.
-Press release (Optica)

The Life of Animals Living in the Shadow of the Twentieth Century consists of a set of three artist books

Comment aider les animaux à s’échapper des habitats dégradés / How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats, Optica, Montréal, 1997.
ISBN2-9800981-9-1.
Artist : Bill Burns

Montréal Zoo de Montréal. Guide illustré des habitats pour animaux de Montréal / Illustrated guide to animal habitats in Montréal, Optica, Montréal, 1997.
ISBN 2-922085-00-7
Artist : Trevor Gould

Manuel d’animal Handbook, Optica, Montréal, 1997.
ISBN 2-922085-01-5
Artist : Mark Vatnsdal

Go to publications catalogue.