Managed to get out this weekend and came across a factory pig farm being dismantled. There are government incentives for farmers to move out of the business, which is slowly gathering pace. Incredibly, the buildings are unfit for alternative purposes and have to be cleared away, no up-cycling, only more waste.
These are ugly places. Peering in through the now open ventilation panels, the interior view is grim and depressing. The residual stink is dreadful, and the impression is one of how can we keep animals like this, cramped pens and bare concrete floors. As with the ‘into the light’ series, I continue to explore the harsh b&w aesthetic for this work. It fits with the purpose of the facility and the atmosphere I want to get across to the viewer. How to structure this work into the overall theme is a bit more challenging, although I now have several subprojects that have spun off the original idea, I think this work can find its place in the now ever expanding narrative focusing on the meat industry.
I had some additional shots of deadboxes which might have potential for inclusion into the ‘bring out the dead’ series, although as I mature that work I have a much clearer idea of what the image is I want to capture and how it should fit into the aesthetic created. This b&w work is still very much free-form as to its final presentation, I can see it printed out in large scale as I think that would be quite effective for a viewer, but I can also see a mashup where this would be included in a short movie for an installation. Bruce Conner’s work is very much in my mind, and I intend to create a work in that theme once I settle on what I want to convey. It needs to be tight, focused, visually and audibly disturbing and create conflicting emotion in the viewer; revulsion, compassion, familiarity, recognition.
I am seeing the outline of an exhibition layout where the linked themes form a visual narrative that touches on different aspects of the factory farming process, each with its own aesthetic and combined with installations to make use of and explore other mediums.