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A Little Series of Stock Horror & Scrumptious Sounds

- 'Staring into the ab

Kicking off the week, I put together some digital collage work on Photoshop using the blood

Andres Serrano, 'Piss Christ'
Andres Serrano, 'Piss Christ'

floor image from last week and layering it over online stock images. I purposely found images of overally (and unreaslistically) happy people, playing against the sickly wholesomeness of them. I liked the idea of creating crime scene ketchup-blood slasher images, changing something that is the complete opposite of that. I also liked the idea of subversing consumerist 'experience' culture, where experiences are sold rather than actually lived, which I think it especially shown in the second and third images. Although I don't see myself taking these much further I did enough them as a little experiment. The layering of image and substance reminded me of Andres Serrano's 'Piss Christ', maybe it would be interesting to try something more like his work, putting the images or an object in a container full of fluids or meats? The idea of using real bodily fluids or meat is increasingly intreguing, but I am unsure how to use it in such a way that will put forward my message. I found Jordan Eagles' work to be interesting as the material is blood taken from slaughterhouses, meaning that not only is it real blood

Jordan Eagles
Jordan Eagles

but the material has a relevant history. The richness of colour and pattern that the blood creates is equally as beautiful as it is unsettling, adding a level of attraction and repulsion, as soon as you are aware of the material the image becomes difficult to take your eyes away from due to our innate morbid curiosity and the level of abjection, meaning that we identify with the blood, as this is what flows through our bodies, making us feel uncomfortable. This is also an interesting way to create an impact using 2D work due to the depth and materiality of the substance. Another artist that I found interesting who uses blood in her work is Jen Lewis' images, who uses her own menstrual

Jen Lewis
Jen Lewis

blood to make almost pretty work, filled with strangeness as soon as we become aware of the material, which is somehow almost more taboo than the use of animal blood in Eagles', due to our cultural discomfort with the discussion women's cycles. As soon as you introduce a material that is so biologically female, I feel it is inevitably a discussion about women, which isn't my direction at all, in fact it's what I've been moving away from since the end of first year. However, I found the images

Ana Mendieta, 'Body Tracks'
Ana Mendieta, 'Body Tracks'

interesting due to their delicate feminine quality, using a substance that is usually an image of violence. I think it is interesting to see a males relationship with blood (as seen in the depth and violence of Eagles' work), compared to a woman's relationship with blood (as seen in Lewis' gentle, floating images) and the atmostphere's completely contrast. The last artist's work that I connected with after the last few weeks of studio experimenation, is Ana Mendieta and her 'Body Tracks' performative painting pieces. The simple act is packed with feeling, abjectedness and meaning, almost appearing like tribal cave paintings, yet somehow appearing to have a female energy. Again using animal blood and paint (which seems to be becoming a bit of a theme in my research, perhaps suggesting that it may be a little over done), they have a sense of both violence and ritualistic peacefulness, and when viewing the images without their artist, they become like the aftermath of a violent act, you wonder what has happened to the person who made the traces of their body. I think what strikes hard about this work is it's simplicity forcing an audience to take time over something so loaded and yet so sparce. I think it may be worth taking a leaf out of Mendieta's work in terms of this.

The big aim at the moment is to be putting something together for the 'Inertia for Supieror Souls' exhibition (at the Bargehouse, OXO Wharf, London). So far I have played around with some sound work that I would like to use for a video or installation piece, as this is something that would have added to my last crit installation work. I have recorded sounds of me eating chewy sweets, making loud and graphic chewing sounds. I was inspired by the idea of ASMR for this, as I love the idea of something that is intended to be sensual or sexy but comes across groteque. I was also pleased with this idea because it doesn't seem to be something I can really find anything of in the current art scene - and we all know how hard that is! I shall be laying this sound over a remake of the 'Auto-Cannibalism' performance videos, which I plan to make cleaner and clearer.

My proposal is as follows:

For this exhibition, I shall be working with ideas of the abject and nihilism, to produce

objects that appear ambiguously bodily. I work to remove the romanticized view that we have of ourselves, discuess the oddness of existence and play against the social restrictions we live by in civilised society by conjuring images of bodily insides without their hosts, working with cannibalistic imagery, such a 'human slaughterhouses' (using chains and hooks, creating hanfing meat imagery) and confusing the line between the outsides and insides of our forms. This work does this so as to discuss mortality and the complete lack of purpose and meaning that we have in our short collective existence and even shorter individual lives. I like playing with ideas of excessively over-indulging in taboos, because if there is no point in life and we have no moral obligations, I want to explore this idea of giving into our most basic, disgusting and unsaid desires, ultimately exploring the breakdown of civilised society as we know it.

I wish to create work around these topics by making ambiguous, fleshy, meaty objects from clay, hanging them from a wall and free-standing clothes railing from chains and hooks to create a slaughterhouse-style scene. I also wish to project a video piece over the top of this set, depicting a performer eating edible paper (which appears like skin) off of their own body, alluding to auto-cannibalism, sensuality, gluttony and mortality. I will also be using a separate sound piece alongside the work, to create a more immersive and unsettling experience, of eating sounds like chewing, crunching and slurping.

I am also currently working on a title for this piece, my current ideas are as following:

- 'Why Not?' (based on my 'why not' theory: if there is no point to life, then why not indulge in all the 'bad' things).

- 'Classic dramas of erotic excess' (a quote from a commentary I've recently read on the work of Joel-Peter Witkin).

- 'Gluttonous Dramas of Cannibal Excess' (a re-work of the previous quote to show my intentions and contexts more specifically, I like how every work is about over-doing it).

- 'Butchery of Contemplation'

- 'Staring into the abyss'


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