The Puffin Hunter: Eleanor Morgan

Opening Reception Friday February 9, 8pm
Artist talk Saturday February 10, 2pm

Exploring the complex relationship between the human and animal worlds, Eleanor Morgan’s practice examines empathy in light of cultural and personal politics. The artist writes, we can only understand animals as metaphors for our own behavior, so there is a constant attempt and failure to connect. For Morgan, animals are shifting, sticky objects of investigation. Her process of engagement with her subject is an activity that hinges on the human need to personify the natural world, and her emphasis on the processual aspects of her animal encounters yields work that entangle subjectivities. Influenced by the writing of W.G. Sebald, whose web-like narratives operate somewhere between fiction and document, Morgan’s artistic process is part research, part memory, and part desire.

Her most recent work, The Puffin Hunter, is a documentary film that follows a hunter on his solo trek to lure, capture, and kill mature puffins in a dramatic, remote Icelandic landscape. The harvesting activity forces viewers to question notions of nature, necessity, and empathy. Pointing to a triangulated experience between the birds, the hunter, and the observer, The Puffin Hunter elicits a potential response of conflicted emotion, clinical observation, and a consideration of the sublime.

Eleanor Morgan lives and works in London, UK. Since graduating from the University of British Columbia with her MFA in 2004, she has shown her work at the Or Gallery, Vancouver; Site Gallery, Sheffield; Soap Factory, Minneapolis; Lieu Unique, Nantes; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; SIM, Reykjavik; and Area 10 Project Space, London.