Situational Taxidermy

HUNTRESSSquirrel

While I'm sure many of us have taxidermy jobs currently on order or in progress (though, I have a tanned antelope hide that I'm still deciding what to do with), I'm sure we're not planning on picking up anything looking like the creations of a handful of contemporary artists who have been re-imagining the craft of "animal stuffing."

 This March 1 [artinfo.com](http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/30319/the-right-stuff/) article discusses many such artists, like Italian Maurizio Cattelan, who's 1996 work Bidibidobidiboo (pictured above) features a squirrel who's decided to end his worldly pains. In another work from 2006, Still Life After Death (rabbit) by English artist Polly Morgan, a magician's top hat is suspended above a curled and "sleeping" white bunny. The link above is worth checking out for its photo gallery of other such works (a hawk perched on a typewriter, a peacock head and torso attached to a kangaroo's legs, etc...). 

 While the works are certainly arresting and fantastical, I can't quite figure out how I feel about them. Some pieces seem to showcase the animal in a positive (though unconventional) way. But I wonder if others "disrespect the spirit" of the animal -- just the thing that our young potential hunter from last week, Kimmy Czekus, vowed never to do. The lines certainly tend to blur when you're talking about art -K.H.