Oil paint on ceram­ic plate

This work is an alle­go­ry, bring­ing togeth­er ani­mal sac­ri­fice and mono­cul­ture, the still life as paint­ing genre, the alien­ation of human labour, and the com­mod­i­ty fetish. Dec­o­ra­tive and mass-pro­duced plates have been turned into art objects. They ref­er­ence famous works of art as well as the folk/craft tra­di­tion of paint­ing on plates.

Much of my work comes out of this West­ern obses­sion with pro­duc­ing sys­tems, in col­lec­tions of an aes­thet­ic or epis­te­mo­log­i­cal order, to advance notions of good taste and a shared com­mon knowl­edge. The jux­ta­po­si­tion of sev­er­al reg­is­ters reflects a desire to make sense of the hid­den pow­er struc­tures at work in all forms of rep­re­sen­ta­tion. This is large­ly done through the frag­men­ta­tion and deter­ri­to­ri­al­iza­tion of the sources at hand.

I am inter­est­ed in how still life was con­sid­ered a low art genre, one that served to reflect the sta­tus of an emerg­ing bour­geois sub­jec­tiv­i­ty in 17thand 18th-cen­tu­ry North­ern Europe. The lack of human pres­ence with­in still life was sup­posed to make one reflect on the per­isha­bil­i­ty of the objects present, and ulti­mate­ly on death. Objects in fact were fill­ing in for human pres­ence and human rela­tions. This is also the ratio­nale of the com­mod­i­ty fetish as laid out by Marx in Das Kap­i­tal. This extends to the sta­tus of art objects as pos­ses­sions: I am what I own, what I dis­play conspicuously.

The work was also inspired by Claude Levi-Strauss’ book The Raw and the Cooked: two things dis­tin­guish humans from ani­mals, our rit­u­al treat­ment of food and our use of lan­guage; all human cul­tures pre­pare their food through cook­ing or pre­serv­ing it from rot; then there is the added sup­ple­ment of how one cooks or pre­pares the food being a sig­ni­fi­er of class and pres­tige, which is con­ferred onto the consumer.