The Refusal

2013-10-06 Jo Longhurst

The Refusal is a collection of artworks including photographs, stereoscopic installations and projections, video and performance. 2003 - ongoing

In The Refusal - a study of the British Whippet - Longhurst explores the competitive world of the show dog. The shaping of the domestic dog has a history in nineteenth century Eugenics, a movement closely linked with the invention of photography. The eugenic obsession of the breeders seeking to create the perfect dog, taps into contemporary concerns about genetic modification and cloning. Longhurst's study of the Whippet asks many questions of our present engagement with the animal, and the resulting cross-species relationships in which power, control, love and desire are intertwined. While questioning conventions of portraiture and photography, Longhurst's artworks provide a serious contribution to the ongoing inquiry into human subjectivity through their systematic re-evaluation of our relationship to our pets. 

Artist's talk introduced by Professor Carol Mavor, The Manchester Museum, 23 October 2012

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