Today is the last day of The Sexual Politics of Meat Exhibition at The Animal Museum, LA. The exhibition followed on from the book The Art of the Animal, eds Kathryn Eddy, LA Watson and Janell O’Rourke, Lantern Press, 2015. It has been, and continues to be an amazing project to be involved with.
The Sexual Politics of Meat Exhibition is coming up soon at The Animal Museum. The exhibition itself will run from 26 February till 30 April 2017. I’ll be there for the install and opening weekend – and I’m thrilled at the line up of events – http://theanimalmuseum.com/events/spom-opening-weekend/
The Sexual Politics of Meat Exhibition: Opening Weekend Festivities
“How does someone become something?” – Fourteen contemporary women artists ask and explore this very question through a variety of media in The Sexual Politics of Meat, a landmark and thought-provoking exhibition presented by The Animal Museum and curated by Kathryn Eddy, Janell O’Rourke, and L.A. Watson.
Join us for an insightful weekend with the legendary Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat, Dr. Stephen F. Eisenman, and the exhibition curators and artists.
With special guests: SPOM author Carol J. Adams, Dr. Stephen F. Eisenman (author, The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights), Martin Rowe (Lantern Books), and the exhibition curators and artists. PLUS live jazz music from Stray Dog Song, wine, beer and vegan bites.
2 to 3:30 PM
“The history of the sexual politics of meat slide show: working with ARTISTS, liberating ideas and oppressive images” presented by Carol J. Adams, followed by a Q&A
The Slide Show provides an ecofeminist analysis of the interconnected oppressions of sexism, racism, and speciesism by exploring the way popular culture draws on dominant Western philosophical viewpoints regarding race, gender, and species. It identifies how meat has been a valued masculine-identified protein source and the ways that assumptions about meat eating reinforce a gender binary. It proposes that many meat advertisements are conduits for hate-speech against women and also that they offer ways to encode “whiteness” without being explicit.
4 to 5:00 PM
“Women, Animals, and Art” Panel Discussion
A rousing discussion with Carol J. Adams, the curators, and artists that address the theories found within the book. Panel moderator: Dr. Stephen Eisenman, author of The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights
The Animal Museum is opening in December 2016, I’ll be heading over in February 2017 to be part of the Art of the Animal: Sexual Politics of Meat exhibition – which I see they’ve abbreviated to SPOM! – and I’m also looking forward to viewing their permanent exhibit of the history of animal advocacy in the US.
Info about the exhibition as it becomes available: http://theanimalmuseum.com/exhibits/the-sexual-politics-of-meat/
How can the use of traumatic knowledge drive the development of new visual languages of empathy and testimony? My recent sculptural series boobscape draws upon knowledges of the lives and deaths of dairy cattle. The madness and somewhat garbled hysteria of the witness, the repetitive compulsion to share and reveal, the necessity to communicate to another, and the inability or struggle to find shared language can also be the productive and generative force of animalady.
Skinning days. The bodies are taken down from their hanging position, and rubbed with talc, rubbing into the crevices, the pits, the groin. A sharp scalpel makes a cut through the skin, and then the process of skinning commences, pulling and rubbing down, pulling, stretching, releasing, it is an ugly task, on par with creating meat lumps from skulls. I’m sometimes callous with my little objects. Sometimes their grip on me is too strong, their tenderness fragility and exposure is too painful to bear. I become meat worker, butcher, in order to do this work, and I make amends [regrettably useless] with small objects. I counterbalance the butchering with the endless work of reparation.
Trauma and empathic witnessing erupt into the creative production processes, creating a divergence of methodologies and materialities, such as; tenderness, care, violence, damage and reparation. These contradictory methods are born not only from the witnessing but the trauma of bearing witness, and the maddening frustration of being positioned as the radical vegan freak, the out-there irrational-nutty-screw-loose-mushy-softy-weirdo-bunny-hugger-animal-lover.
Sometimes I stand at the edge of butchers shops, normally I rush by them, their smell envelops me, covers me in a layer of flesh and fatty tissue, the thick smell of cold death. I wonder at how normal this all seems to people, these lumps of bodies laid out, creatures whose lives were given and taken from them for a meal. How invisible yet visible the atrocity is.
boobscape alludes to milking machines, multi-breasted goddesses, boundary crossings and infringements between human and non-human animals, the abject and transgressive possibilities of milk and motherhood. boobscape is a monstrous amalgamation of paradoxical mammaries; breasts and udders, teats and nipples, droopy, full and empty. The pieces grow together on the wall like mold. They linger discordantly between beauty and horror, between empathy and erasure, in doing so they develop the abject languages of empathic relations with our nonhuman fellow creatures.
This coming week is busy – presenting at PSi#22 – Fleshy Encounters: Performing Responsibilities in a time of ecological crisis with creative writers Sue Pyke and Hayley Singer. Exhibition- Animaladies at Interlude Gallery, Glebe, and presenting Empathic Udder-ness: Witnessing and the traumatic imagination at the conference.