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Annie Heckman  Chicago, IL

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Annie

The objects I make come from seeing violence & pain in relation to suffering cuddly creatures. In Sartre’s Age of Reason, Daniel decides to punish himself by putting his cats in a basket and throwing them into the Seine. He imagines them clawing at each other as they drown, and in the end he brings them home instead of tossing them in. His impulse to access emotion via animal pain struck me as the most awful and decadent gesture, made in a context where war was looming but not yet touching his body.

In my relatively peaceful suburban upbringing, the death of a pet or a found dead bird became a memorable lesson in mortality. These images become the basis of a confrontation with a broader context for illness, violence, and the body. I make animations, installations, and works on paper to explore these emotional negotiations, to re-imagine the clash of brutal physical mortality with the hope of afterlife ideologies.

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10 of 15 reactions displayed

"Running across Annie's work this morning was a rather nice gift. I was struck by the quiet and inflective beauty that the installations have. Reading her statement was weird, because just the other day I was thinking about that scene in the Age of Reason. Going to Annie's website you can see little snippets of the animations that accompany the installations. Or should I say that in the reverse as the installations seem to exist as a vehicle for the viewer to approach the animations. That anyone could read Annie's artist statement and think that she derives some pleasure out of the suffering or death of an animal is absurd. Are people really so short sighted? ooo"

"Oh--Please people learn to read!!!! It seems fairly obvious to me that if you found the explanations to any kind of glorifying of animal abuse then you only read the first sentence. The theme of these pieces are about the great question "What happens when we die?"The message is one that we are all confronted with. It isn't validation FOR brutality it is a validation OF THE EXISTENCE of brutality.Message and motivation to the side for a moment. I am not sure if the subject is sufficiently portrayed through here images. Personally I am intrigued but ready say that it has invoked the feelings and confusion that it sounds as if she is trying to convey."

"i was emotionally disturbed to find that someone could be inspired by the suffering of animals...they are truly innocent, and what you are promoting - believe it or not - is the acceptance of animal abuse by many sick and twisted people in the world. i am very upset to find yet another horribly misguided person who derives anything "good" out of the suffering of a poor, innocent animal."

"no this is not art... this si what happens when you get bored and happen to have alot of pillows"

"Perhaps seeing it person would be more suiting."

"I find the picture and the explaination disturbing. I think some therapy might be in order."

"Annie's work rules!"

"Hi, i really like your work.. i'm only a teenager.. and ive been seeing that as we grow older things get more and more complicated as we learn and require more knowledge. My take on your work is that you are overthinking. I think you should just slow down and take a look at your work from an outsiders point of view which we all try to do sometimes). but dont do it too often. or youll end up losing your own opinion. I think the best way to get an opinion or to get any soort of professional feedback, is to ask a child.."

"I love Annie's work."

"The featured installation puzzles me; perhaps it's more emotional in person. However, the seaweed installation evokes movement and mystery and the interior life. I want to spend time there."

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