Ankunft der Tiere (Arrival of Animals), Dedicated to Elias Canetti

Dübendorfstrasse 113
8051 Zürich
  • © Pierluigi Macor / Stadt Zürich KiöR («Neuer Norden Zürich»)

2009 / 2018
Acrylic on plywood 321 × 330 cm

For the construction site wall along Dübendorfstrasse in Schwamendingen, where a large residential development is currently emerging, the artist Lin May Saeed (*1973, DE/IQ) has reinterpreted a previous painting from 2009. The text that Saeed makes reference to was written around 1919 in Tiefenbrunnen, Zurich: “This motif is similar to designs that I have already implemented in sculpture. It goes back to a literary dream by Elias Canetti, a text called Ankunft der Tiere (Arrival of Animals), in which Canetti imagines animals resisting against human domination. In this sense, what we have here is a kind of militia with animals, along with a human figure.”

Engagement with social norms and the associated consumerism in the western world is the driving force behind Saeed’s work as an artist. Above all, issues pertaining to the protection of animals and sustainable handling of natural resources are dealt with in her subtle pictorial worlds. Her commitment to the animal kingdom brings strong and emphatic messages to the public – not only in the sheltered setting of galleries and museums, but also precisely here, at an urban location that is otherwise often used for advertising.

Courtesy of the artist und Galerie Nicolas Krupp, Basel