Human beings often think of themselves as separate from animals. We act as if we have nothing in common, as if we do not share some of the same physical features and societal tendencies. We often deem our actions as “natural” while citing animals for “odd behavior”.
Our unrighteous separatism could be considered a slap in the face, not only to the animals we look down upon, but to evolution as a whole. Here to show that evolution has turned the other cheek, Gwenn Seemel reveals that our idea of “natural” isn’t as sound as we perceive it to be. With the support of the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the French American painter created a series titled, Crime Against Nature…, a collection of posters meant change of perception of what is natural. Seemel has a library of informative videos that gives color to this project, but we still decided catch up with her and get her thoughts.
“In 2009, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a disease which often causes infertility. As I adjusted to what that meant for me, I wanted to understand where my feelings of loss came from. Why did I care so much about whether or not I could reproduce?
My question led me to re-examine the way we’ve been taught to think about the natural world and sex roles, and I discovered scientists who aren’t so stuck in traditional paradigms of what’s natural. And, since we learn so much about what is considered appropriate for girls and boys when we’re very young, I decided to turn their research into a children’s book–for kids and also for the kid in all of us.”
On Crime Against Nature’s Reception:
“So far, the feedback has been largely positive. When people are uncomfortable with Crime Against Nature, it usually stems from a religious upbringing. Though my project doesn’t mean to convey that humans should do whatever animals do, it reads that way to those who are bothered by the fact that humans are animals too.”