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Under the Desk Ep.4 'Cannibalism With You'

Welcome back for episode 4 of ‘Under the Desk’, where I shall discuss and exhibit my next short film, -‘Cannibalism With You’, in a format adapted to lockdown. This next film was a third attempt at working with direct cannibalism imagery, after playing with the same techniques but with auto-cannibalism (by eating off of my own body) in a performance documentation film and in the film for my installation at the ‘Inertia For Superior Souls’ exhibition piece called ‘Gluttonous Dramas of Cannibal Excess’, both of which you can find more information about on my website, blog and youtube channel. However, after reflection on these pieces, I decided to work with two performers, myself and my partner, to create a slightly different conversion. This piece is paired with the full recording of chewing sounds that I mentioned last week, which I feel work particularly well, as they guide the audiences’ view of the work away from sensuality and towards eating and disgust. I liked the idea of playing with sound so as to bombard the senses, immersing and forcing an audience to pay attention to the work. I would like to experiment with more sensory play in my work, such as smell, to create a full experience. I played with different shots, some very close up, to create an intimate and voyeuristic relationship between audience and art, as they watch this intimate act of one person feeding from the skin of the other. This skin was made out of wet edible paper stuck to my body, which was both really gross to wear and even more gross for Karma to eat, it’s a little like eating really thick spit, as it has no flavour and just becomes slimy and gloopy. It was important to me that both him and myself appeared like we were both eager to participate in this act and that we were presented on the same physical level on the film so as to avoid any sense of hierarchy and any potential conversions about gender, race or dominance in relationships. I liked this willingness from both parties as it’s strange calmness adds something even more uncomfortable and weird, and it comes across as if the audience shouldn’t be witnessing this act. The main discussion that I wanted to create was about the idea of the body as foodstuff, working on the body as meat theme that runs through my work, and using cannibalistic imagery to exhibit ideas about attraction and repulsion, the abject, primal desires and instincts, and blurring the boundaries between the insides and outsides of the body. This is definitely one of my more resolved pieces of film and I really enjoyed working with Karma on this, as if by including him, I was putting a little more of myself into my work. So enjoy the following footage, and I’ll see you this time next week for the 5th episode of ‘Under the Desk’, thank you for watching!


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