MikroMakro: A Mountain of Small Deaths 2015
material. Copper, Bronze, Rubber,
Foam, Bone, Leather
On location for Schmuck 2015 in Munich and Amsterdam, there seemed to be a running theme of death everywhere I looked. In the street I would happen upon dead animals and every meal involved a large piece of dead animal.
This got me thinking about the meat industry in Germany in general. A large percentage of the food eaten is meat, in fact Germany is one of the main suppliers of meat to all of Europe. How many animals die in a year? How much of that animal is actually kept for consumption? How much of those pieces actually make it to a plate?
To represent and emulate this on a smaller scale, I went to my local butchers and bought discarded pieces of animal (cow and lamb) bone. After preparing each for use, I selected just a few that were either carved up into smaller pieces or cast in bronze. This was to show how that in the meat industry, even if some pieces are kept for consumption, through the food industry process (like within instances of tv dinners) these pieces of the animal end up being merely shadows of their original selves. From all of these pieces carved or cast, not all were used, displaying the whittling down of what was once a whole into a tiny piece for the end product. The pendants are cumbersome or heavy as a constant reminder to the wearer. Worn on a leather collar, reminiscent of that worn by a domestic animal, they are choking to remind of the death on their back, or bulky and noisy to remind of the giant silenced creature.
I made a silent film to play at the exhibition to display how the pieces are worn because I didn’t include the collar I made in the actual exhibition.