All the Better to See You With: Wolves and US

I found myself in Bolton in the pantomime season en route to Glasgow and was fortunate to stumble across an exhibition on ‘Animals and US’ at Bolton Central Library and Museum.  This ‘family-friendly’ exhibition, purports to show how animals feature in all aspects of our lives, including religion, sport, entertainment and fashion and it is accompanied by a whole programme of events.  However, the first thing I saw when I walked through the door was this: 

I felt very ambivalent about this image. The wolf had evidently been stuffed and housed in a museum for decades and was now made to look ridiculous dressed in human clothes  as the grandmother from Little Red Riding Hood. It had been placed in a glass cage. Was this athropomorphism gone mad or was I missing the point? Our exploitation of, and fear of, the wolf obviously came across, but the fact that this was a real wolf with a true history of persecution made me feel very sad. I’d love to know what you think. Here’s another snap of the exhibition entrance:  

Elsewhere wolves are in the news again and there is an interesting article on Darwin’s Falkland’s Wolf  in The Conversation just now which is well worth a read. This resurgence of interest bodes well for our Company of Wolves publications out later this year. All the better to see you with my dears;-(

 

About Lucy Northenra

Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire
This entry was posted in Critical thoughts, exhibitions, OGOM: The Company of Wolves and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to All the Better to See You With: Wolves and US

  1. Daryl Wor says:

    Oh, I would have had the same reaction undoubtedly! It’s like, “Oh wow–erm… wait… um… did anyone have to argue this decision through?”

  2. Thank you. Yes, I am glad you had a similar response. It seemed to lack empathy or irony ultimately and was just a bit crass!

  3. firekrank says:

    It does seem peculiarly crass and more than a little heartbreaking. The treatment of the dead body is such a key aspect of how we extend a sense of dignity to humans. I think this is further evidence of how animals are treated as ‘types’ and ‘species’ rather than individuals.

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