For Hayden Fowler, one motivation for his interdisciplinary practice is a critique of contemporary Western society. Fowler investigates our interactions with the natural world and how we define ourselves with regard to nature. He is interested in the nexus between civilisation and the domestication of animals, focusing on aspects such as interdependency and adaptation.The two video works, 'Goat Odyssey' and 'White Australia', both feature white animals in carefully constructed austere tableaux. 'Goat Odyssey' contains pagan and Greco-Roman symbols, and is set in a clinically tiled, hermetic interior reminiscent of sci-fi cinema. Goats, once symbols of unbridled sexuality and nature, are stripped of these attributes and appear as carefully bred, domesticated creatures adorned with richly embroidered, ritualistic accessories enclosed within an artificial environment. Highlighting the disquieting possibilities of our own increasingly narcissistic preoccupations, Fowler's work suggests the need for a necessary empathetic relationship between humankind and animals.


  • Title: Goat Odyssey
  • Creator: Hayden Fowler
  • Date Created: 2006
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Museum of Contemporary Art donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Henry Ergas, 2009 Image courtesy and copyright the artist
  • External Link: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • Medium: single-channel video, sound 15:40 minutes, edition 58 of 70

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