Claire Pearce / by Esaf Commitee

Tell me a little bit about your work?

I am doing a short animation, it's a dance video using taxidermy. It features me in it and I and an array of different dead animals are dressed up in the same uniform. We are all sort of dancing in this military, creepy march.

What themes do you explore?

The main themes I touch upon are manipulation, like human control and conformity. How easy it is to manipulate other humans, animals and nature. I’ve taken these animals that were alive and I have recreated them. I am in control of their movements.

What was the significance of using dead animals in the piece?

I think it's because it gave me complete control of what I was doing. I was always interested in  using dance as this form of influencing control. By using taxidermy it goes beyond the animation, I  give them life,  give them animation and then dispose of them. It’s sort of a bit dictatorship.

headless rat pink.jpg

What do you want the audience to feel or think about your work?

I think I just want it to be fun. I think it's apparent in the video. It's colourful and the music is K-pop. Its ridiculous and then its got this underlying, really cynical, terrifying aspect. I think I just want it to be fun and maybe for people to think about it a bit deeper.

So can the animation almost be compared to as a dark comedy?

Kind of, but I don't think it is explicitly for humour, it's just not too serious. It's just a bit deliberately abstract and absurd . I think the only way to deal with such big themes is to put them alongside these ridiculous visuals and aesthetics .

How to did you begin with this abstract idea?

All the ideas are things I've always been interested in and I read and researched around that. I got to a point in my work where i just thought i needed to do something different. I was getting into a routine of wondering if this was actually what I wanted to be doing. I just thought I need to do something I've never done before. I've always been interested in taxidermy in a sort of passive way. The use of taxidermy in art is sometimes naff and gimmicky which adds to the humour of it. Since I've started this video I’ve started on this whole new train of thought

Was there anyone in particular that inspired this particular piece?

Things like gangnam style because it's a korean pop song. I was also inspired by dictatorships like North Korea and how they use the arts to manipulate their people. Even things like the cultural revolution in China. The arts play a huge role in propaganda so i was really interested in that.