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Slaughterhouse of the Damned (Working Title)

'Slaughterhouse of the Damned' video still
'Slaughterhouse of the Damned' video still

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This week has all been about putting together a more developed outcome. I have made objects for a film, story-boarded, filmed and editted a new video piece. My aim for this work was to emulate a battery animal's life to discuss the 'just meat' theme I've got going. The work uses ink filled latex tubes as the 'meat', as a metaphor for us, myself the artist and the person who is the audience, and our meaningless, short, unsatisfactory existences, ending in unavoidable death, born to die. The multiple other synthetic meat pieces in some of the scenes also show that this is not a unique and individual problem, but that all lives are the same, we are collectively insignificant. This piece directly tackles the human slaughterhouse imagery hands on, something which I haven't done before, but that I feel worked well and needed to be experimented with, rather than dancing around the obvious.

The latex sacks were used to 1) create gross meat-like objects and 2) create something that could bleed out when cut open. As I already have experience making larger versions of these it was fairly easy for me to make (but still just as labourious) and rekindled my love of the materials. They successfully fullfilled my meaty aims, but also had a great wobbling quality that added some strange life, but at the same time lifelessness, to it - completely abject. I also liked the idea of harking back to my work from the beginning of this year, using the same materials to create organ-like objects that are missing the bodies that should contain them, alien as we shouldn't see them, but also familiar because we know they are always inside us - again adding the abject layer.

The background was completely white, allowing for a clinical and surreal atmosphere, without any other contexts, talking only about this one thing. It also allowed for the dramatic ketchup-blood-slasher-film quality with the stark contrast between the clean white background and the fake blood the sprays from the 'meat', which I like the absurd nature of.

The hand that moves the 'meat' around and carries out the slaughtering, unintentionally came across as a omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent being, as if alluding to a god-like character. Although this was not my aim, I am slightly pleased, as I think there is more to read into there in terms of the discussion of our existences and purposes. Whilst I do not believe in a higher power and it is not what the piece is about, it does have an interesting quality to it.

I'm still considering what the title for this video piece should be. I started with just 'Slaughterhouse', which seemed to be open enough to enterpretation, but then it also seemed a little obvious and descriptive without giving hints to the context. I was also worried that it could be percieved as piece about animal rights without a little more direction. So I then moved onto 'Slaughterhouse of the People', which I quickly abandoned as I felt that rather than making my intentions more clear, it just sounded like a socialist commentary, which when trying to remove myself from the political sphere to talk only about our absurd existences, isn't really ideal. I'm currently siding with 'Slaughterhouse of the Damned', as this feels like it gives a few hints in the right direction, without completely dicating the reading of it. I've decided on 'damned' as this is ultimately what we all are, completely damned to live an unimportant existence only to inevitably die. However, I still feel this could be interpreted as a save-the-animals-style protest. I shall think of and list some ideas off of the top of my head below:

- 'The Meaning of Life'

- 'A Sack of Meat in a Long Line of Sacks of Meat Going Nowhere'

- 'we are meat, we are potential carcasses' (a Francis Bacon quote)

- 'Potential Carcusses'

- 'Murder, Mortality & Meaninglessness'

Still, not a bad way to end 2019!


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