CULTURE REVIEW from 11. July 1997 by Theologian and Priest Sørine Gotfredsen
at that time Journalist  for the Danish dayly newspaper 'DET FRI AKTUELT'


It is not the mixing of animals and man,that makes one uneasy
to human minds and future
when looking at the artist Dan Civas paintings
It is the very looking in the creatures eyes that seems to accept everything


There are only two possibilities.Either we learn to live the idea that we must die, or we must find a way we can avoid it.

So far, we have reached a point where we can postpone the moment, but it is not good enough yet. Not for humans, who in all ages have wondered eternal life - even if no one has the slightest idea whether eternal lifewould be a blessing or not.

The animals are part of the way, from them we will probably even be able to take internal organs and transfer them to ourselves when our own are no longer good.

In a basement in Vesterbro in Copenhagen, the artist Dan Civa exhibited his images of a future where no one knows what is human being, and what there are animals.

The borders are broken down and back is a creature of somewhat similar to resigned passivity just lives on.

Dan Civa  paint a lot  of selfportraits in the body of chimpanzees, gorillas and American bisons and other animals.

The animals are rendered completely faithful to their true appearance but without environment, almost without plants around them - and with a human face

It's about the body and face and above all, it's all about the eyes as witness it all.

One just can not see in the eyes what it is thinking or whether it completely is the human being or animal, which is concentrated inside the animal's body.

Dan Civa do not know himself, and he has never taken a position on it. He says,that he deliberately distancing himself from the soul behind the eyes, because everything else is impossible.

But when he on the pictures looking out from his animal body, it is almost always with an almost serene gaze, he sees the outside world, and their is in no reason to believe that he is suffering even though he lives as a mixture of animal and human

He expresses no anxiety or panic or just a suspicion that something is wrong.

So you stand there in front of the pictures and thinking that if he at least had painted fright or perhaps remorse in his eyes, it was to understand.
If he tried to tell that man in the animal well even know that it has come so far in its management of technology and manipulation with all living, and ended up in a situation filled with some kind of suffering.

However, this is not how the eyes look like.. They express nothing else, that it all just is another way of being than we are used to now, and it's the most frightening thing by Dan Civas human-animal pictures that started with an urge to merge himselves to the animals instead of just seeing them from the outside.

In his pictures, man is not shocked by his own actions or his own situation. The development has just gone its course, and now it is here, we have reached. Many people will automatically feel distaste for the idea that we one day no longer can distinguish between animals and humans.

That they It will, from a position on what a person is and should be.
But it is far from what it is about, and we should be able to turn it all around.

The concern about what people will think of in the future in relation to animals and their use is exactly as much about, what an animal is and should be.

Animals are constantly placed in a situation here on earth, where they are not able to have influence on their own destiny. Man determines simply everything and thus have full responsibility.

It has not necessarily something with cruelty to do, that animals included in man's struggle to become the master of everything, including his own life and his own death, but it has very much something with thinking to do.

Just as it is deeply troubling to make himself master of human biological development, it is deeply troubling to make himself master of the animals, because both should be inviolable.

Dan Civas pictures violates the idea that there are limits given, people must recognize and to which they must live with.
And the look of calm acceptance that flows out from many of his selfportraits, is far more disturbing than the mixed monsters of animal-human bodies and monkeys, which are hatched from eggs and has a human face instead of their own.

The amount of these creations of imagination is infinitely great, and when have seen one or two, have quickly seen them all - but the lack of reaction in the creatures eyes are heavy to live with.

It indicates that man should be a free-floating creature that exists independent of any kind of rules, standards, responsibility for either animals or people - and no higher morality at all.

It can of course not be proved that we do not, but there must be a reason, why one will not accept the idea that the boundary between humans and animals are lifted.

And there must be an explanation that one do not want to accept the look of almost indifference, which is in the eye of the future creatures
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