Lin May Saeed’s “The Snow Falls Slowly in Paradise”
              Jesi Khadivi
              In What is Philosophy? (1991), Deleuze and Guattari write that “art is continually haunted by the animal.” Looking back through millennia of artistic production, we see representations of our beastly counterparts everywhere: as companions, deities, workers, or raw material. Likewise, John Berger has argued that “the parallelism of their similar/dissimilar lives allowed animals to provoke some of the first questions and offer answers.” Yet a life in common, and the reciprocal gaze that humans and animals once shared, was lost in the West with the development of nineteenth-century capitalism. The practice of German-Iraqi artist Lin May Saeed brings the image of the animal from the periphery back to the center. Saeed devoted her life, sadly cut short by brain cancer at the age of fifty last month, to the cause of animal liberation. Her work avoids agit-prop depictions of animal suffering and instead draws on myths, stories, and fables so that we might “imagine a kind of time travel with a focus on the human-animal relationship” and “think about our common future” by looking at the past. “The Snow Falls Slowly in Paradise,” in which Styrofoam sculptures and reliefs, figurative wall works, drawings, and videos are shown alongside animal sculptures …

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