15/03/2017 — 15/03/2017

Film Club: Coco Fusco

Coco Fusco, TED Ethology - Primate Visions of the Human Mind, 2015.

Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates and Video Data Bank. © 2016 Coco Fusco

Coco Fusco


Coco Fusco revives and embodies the chimpanzee animal psychologist Dr. Zira from the original Planet of the Apes films of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In her Skyped-in introduction, esteemed feminist theorist and technoscience philosopher Donna Haraway explains that Dr. Zira narrowly escaped death in the third film and has been living in hiding, observing human behaviour through visual culture.

In her lecture, Dr. Zira draws from primatology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology to address human aggression and predatory behaviour for the accumulation of resources in post-industrial societies. Dividing Homo sapiens into categories humans often use to study other species, she finds that economic disparity is a form of violence, primarily enacted by the dominant “alpha” males and females against the majority “beta” population. She also compares this homo sapiens behavioural pattern with that of other members of the homo genus, demonstrating the human shift from empathy towards what she calls “aggressively individualistic behaviour”.




Coco Fusco (b. 1960, New York, USA) is a Cuban-American artist and writer based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary art practice incorporates site-specific performance, video and research work which examines cross-cultural identity, political unrest, gender and social commentary through a range of performative practices. The duality of Fusco’s cross-cultural upbringing has nurtured an artistic relationship with Cuba and Cuban artist communities spanning over three decades charting how Cuban artists’ practices are inherently radicalized when operating under a communist government system.

Fusco recently lectured at the Tate Modern in conjunction with her book Dangerous Moves: Politics and Performance in Cuba. Among numerous awards Fusco was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013 and is a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Visual Arts at Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, São Paulo. In her career spanning investigation into contemporary cuban life and culture recent exhibitions include All the World’s Futures at the 56th Venice Biennale, The Centre Pompidou, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Whitney Biennial (1993 and 2003), The Johannesburg Biennial, Performa 05 and the Shanghai Biennale. Fusco received her Ph.D in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University in 2007. She is represented by Alexander Grey Associates in New York.


Film Club

The Grundy has teamed up with the ICA in London as part of a national network to introduce audiences to artists’ film. Each screening will start at 5.30pm with an introduction by artist Chris Paul Daniels, and will be followed by a discussion, questions and refreshments. The Film Club programme is free but booking is essential. Participants must be aged 18+.