Meatheads involves an experiment in portraiture, made with available packaged meat sourced in London. From big chain supermarkets like Tesco and Lidl, to the artists frequently visited local Polish Grocer and Farmers Market.
Human and animal, dead and alive; these photographs provide a portioned cut of meat the personality they deserve. This work revolves around a questioning of agency, on one hand, being photographed and photographing, and on the other, feeling demoralised as both animals and consumers amongst an industrialised feeding frenzy. Disconnected from the animals, companies producing them (and everything in between), stories about Tesco’s ‘made-up’ farms being freshly sourced from the UK (such as Boswell Farms), or the horsemeat scandals at Lidl, are examples of how our suspicion has become a wholehearted vision.
By deconstructing elements of anxiety and abstraction, the creatures of Meatheads and Preying for Modesty may be mute, but they ask uncomfortable questions. The kind we prefer not to talk about, they ask about how they came to be? They ask about the other creatures of our world…
Collaborating with people who slaughter or have footage from being amongst animal slaughter for food, Preying for Modesty explores Meatheads’ counterworld: a different connection with being both human and animal. This series of films are both abstract and documentary, and look between the gaps of consumer and manufacturer. Connecting us to a source, a fleshy source, the project has been developed during the first COVID lockdown. Bringing together people around the world through their food making techniques, Preying for Modesty contributes to wider perspective on reasons why we culturally, historically and intuitively feed on flesh.
Image: Katrina Stamatopoulos, 1.80 (From Meatheads), 2020, black and white hand print on emulsion coated paper, 52 x 70cm