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'Under the Desk' Ep.2 'Slaughterhouse of the Damned'

Welcome back for episode 2 of ‘Under the Desk’, where I shall discuss and exhibit my next short film, in a format adapted to lockdown. This film was made back in the Autumn, and shows the development of my interests into ideas of the abject, of human bodies as just walking meat and the use of slaughterhouse imagery in my work. These ideas came about after reviewing my previous year of making feminist art and re-evaluating my interests, realising that I wasn’t really a feminist artist, but was concerned with ideas of existence, and began researching into Neitzsche and existential nihilism. I was particularly inspired by Francis Bacon’s ‘Figure With Meat’, an unforgettable painting of the pope traumatized over his contemplation of the carcass strung up behind him and his relationship to it and place in the world. I wanted to show us for what we really are, just meaty bodies with a meaningless existence, and remove our romanticized and egotistical view of ourselves. At this point I also started dabbling in ideas of cannibalism, of slaughterhouses for the production of human flesh, as a way to level the hierarchies we place on ourselves over other living things, or rather over any other object really. And if we are unimportant, theoretically why not turn to primal instincts that we’ve made into absurd taboos. As Bill Schult would say: “combining this ultimate taboo with our fascination with food”, making the body foodstuff, reminding us of Thomas Nagel’s human farms to feed an alien race as our sole purpose in life. It also touches on ideas of mortality, the fact that we are plagued, as Albert Camus would say, which grows further in my later work. Enjoy these scenes of “butchery for contemplation” and I’ll see you this time next week (Tuesday 26th) for the next ‘Under the Desk’ episode!


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