Shall I become a pig?(ft Cindy Sherman, Xu Bing)

October 4, 2017

As I mentioned I want to create some form of animal transformation.

 If i was going to create a transformation of some kind what animal would I be? As i mentioned in a previous post I'm very intrigued by the farm animals as they are an animal we actively disassociate in order to eat. Pigs are the most interesting of these creatures as they are the most similar to humans out of all the animals we consume, they are omnivores like us, they are hairless like us, they have similar sized organs (many medical experiments are done on pigs because of this similarity) they think interdependently and intelligently  unlike sheep or cattle that have a kind of hive mind. 'Long pigs' is a translation of a term formerly used in some Pacific islands for human flesh as food. Apparently we even taste like them. Coincidentally over the summer I filmed the pigs in the farm next door to ours, these boars where kept in a small barn with the sows next to them. Being adolescent, they were extremely riled up by their presence the bores where a mass of this pure instinctual urges constantly fighting, humping each other their squeals so loud you could hear nothing else, the stench of testosterone filled the air. I've rarely encountered  anything so intensely 'animal', there is are they parts of us we hide deep with in to survive in society. Other artists have picked up on this idea.

 

 

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #140 ,From the Fairy Tales Series, 1985

 

Cindy Sherman made this wonderful piece for her sinister Fairy Tales Series. A lot of her work in this series captures the dark essence of the Grimms brothers fairy tails in a theatrical way, the backgrounds and lighting often look as though they are on a stage or 80's horror set. Which is interesting because this piece was made around the same time as all the cheesy over the top prosthetics started appearing in horror films. Maybe Sherman is responding to them or simply influenced by them.  

 

 

Xu Bing’s “A Case Study of Transference,” 1994.

 

The work featured two live pigs — a boar and a sow — having sex in front of audiences at one of the early informal art spaces in Beijing. The backs of the pigs were stamped with gibberish composed from the Roman alphabet and invented Chinese characters.

 

Mr. Xu, who has lived in New York for nearly 20 years, spent time on pig farms during the Cultural Revolution. Why pigs and calligraphy? “Animals are completely uncivilized and Chinese characters are the expression of supreme civilization,”

 

 

 

 

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