Undetermined Landscape / 2010
This work contemplates the complexity of the animal-human relationship through the practice of displaying preserved animals. Whether we display preserved animals in order to promote a conversation, for research purposes or as hunting trophy, it transforms a living being into a lifeless thing. These defeated animals serve as a mere trace of the anthropocentric paradigm, implying human superiority over all other animals. However, by turning the gaze from the displayed dead animals to the very act of displaying them, Ben-David challenges the anthropocentric vanity, following the profound words of Ecclesiastes: “For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19)
* No animals were harmed in the making of this work.