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Item Name: Photograph
Title: How to help animals escape from Natural History #3 (Penguin)
Maker: Bill Burns
Year: 1995
Country: Canadian
Materials: cibachrome print; photographic paper
Measurements: overall: 122 cm x 97 cm
ID Number: PC99.4
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: Toronto-based conceptual artist Bill Burns uses humour to explore serious social and environmental issues. He often adapts images taken from museums, history and science books to question our ideas of Western progress. This photograph is part of a series produced by a company he created, “Safety Gear for Small Animals (SGSA)” which produces drawings, illustrations, instruction manuals and finely-manufactured safety and rescue gear for animals. The “Safety Gear” series satirically suggests methods of saving animals from their natural environment because humans have comprised the earth through our use of natural resources, and through situations such as war or pollution. Animals studied by scientists are often tagged, collared or micro-chipped. Though researchers try to work without impacting animals adversely, these systems are disruptive. Penguins, for example, in addition to being invasively recorded on video, have been tagged for bar-code readers, and fitted with go-pro cameras. Bill Burns (1956 – ) Born in Regina, Burns earned his BFA from the University of Victoria (1980), and his MA from Goldsmiths' College, University of London, England (1987) working with Gerard Hemsworth and John Latham. Burns is the recipient of awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. His work has been shown and collected internationally, including at the Tate Britain in London, MoMA in New York, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Seoul Museum of Art, Korea.