"Several pieces in the exhibition pose questions about the production of knowledge. La Vaughn Belle’s series of 22 V.I. animal sketches titled ‘the Most Wretched Objects of the Brute Creation’ reads like the scattered pages of an exploded travelogue or notebook of ‘discovery.’ But here we do not see the conquistador’s uncertainly drawn animals, symbols of the one divine reality, but instead something more accommo- dating to multiplicity and a kind of freedom. The ‘local’ V.I. animals, all of them imported by the island’s colonizers to serve a function, refuse to submit to a universalizing or reductive eye. The mongoose bristle with prickly resistance; the cattle turn their backs to the representer, inscrutable and opaque; the donkeys, beasts of burden at rest, meet the gaze with an idle indifference."
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