In Nature’s Wild, the Trinidad-born scholar-artist contends with his own animality. The story begins in his classroom at an all-boys Catholic high school in Trinidad, when a priest points to a row of boys and demands, “Prove to me that you are not homosexual.” From there, Gosine takes us on a journey that mixes personal narrative with historical analysis of the ways in which anxieties about humans’ animality have produced various kinds of disciplinary strategies in law and culture. Grappling with how the demarcation of a line between human and non-human nature has been specifically deployed since the beginning of the colonial encounter, Gosine draws from historical and contemporary visual art representations, dress code regulations and recent legal challenges to the criminalization of sodomy, to reach consider the significance of embracing one's “wild nature” in the context of global ecological crisis.
Andil Gosine is Professor of Environmental Arts and Justice at York University. The companion touring exhibition for his book Nature’s Wild will launch in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in January 2022. He is also curator of everything slackens in a wreck-, which will open at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York next Spring.