Cover art for podcast Jo's Art History Podcast

Jo's Art History Podcast

35 EpisodesProduced by Jo McLaughlinWebsite

Join art historian Jo McLaughlin as she delves into the wonderful world of art history in a different way!Jo’s aim is to begin breaking down the elitism which surrounds the subject of art history and believes in order to do so, it’s important to create a space where everyone from all walks of life h… read more


18. The Complex Moral Issues of Animals in Contemporary Art with Ally Zlatar

It’s Episode 18!

Welcome back to the Jo’s Art History Podcast.

This week, I sit down with Art Historian and artist Ally Zlatar for a really thought provoking discussion all around the use of animals in contemporary art and the moral questions this can provoke.

From artists living in pig pens and floating sharks in tanks; to fish in blenders and painted elephants. Ally and I talk about the lack of clarity around using both live and dead animals in art and the questions around the ethics and morality of using animals in such a way raise. 

We explore if it is ever ok to kill an animal for the sake of art and why these works, although shocking are really, really, important at making us not only reflect on our values, but think about on how we take action against certain things, but not others!

I want to thank Ally for bringing to my attention this area of art history, theory and philosophy - it’s a really thought provoking episode and starts a very important conversation around some VERY big questions.


Ally Zlatar

Instagram: @allycardone




Jo McLaughlin

Instagram: @josarthistory


All images discussed are available on my website and Instagram:


Miru Kim, The Pig That Therefore I Am. Photo Series. 2010. Doosan Gallery. New York.

Hirst, Damien (1991) The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind, [Installation: Glass, steel, silicon, formaldehyde and shark] 217 x 542 x 180 cm.

Evaristti, Marco (2000) Helena, [Moulinex Optiblend 2000 electric blenders, live goldfish,

Further reading:

Artsy Article:

Muri Kim:

Damien Hirst:

Marco Evaristti:

This is the interview and then Goldfish thread which I talk about during the podcast:

Banksy Elephant:

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