Building on past works that focused on cycles of human consumption and animal equity, the series Revenants is a further exploration of our relationship to the animals we consume and how they are perceived within the popular psyche. As a species we are often able to divorce living beings from our use of them. It takes a quick search engine run to see the identity of a living bird eclipsed by its prepared body as a consumable good. Reading the word “chicken”, might call forth crisp imagery and olfactory reminiscence before we envision another being, walking, breathing and experiencing this world in our midst.
In the series Revenants, animals in various states of preparation are restored a sense of individuality and agency. Reanimated in their gastronomically transformed states, they are able to walk away from the table and demand accountability. Walking a line between the grotesque, the tender and the humorous, the work draws on animated foods from popular culture and history to reflect on contemporary consumer culture, erasure of living identity, and interspecific relationships.
Revenants highlight the sense of erasure we create as a species when consuming other beings. Through packaging, marketing, processing and preparation, corporeal transformations are engineered to appease our sympathies and comfort levels: as well as our palates and budgets. In these sculptures, I aim to subvert this sense of transformation inherent in meat preparation to re-empower bodies as fantastic revenants, reinvested with agency and possibility. Standing in their cooked and prepared states, these hybrid bodies demand a sense of reckoning. At once tragic and humorous, these sculptures operate within the emotional landscape of meat consumption that is suppressed by the corporate food industry.