Animal Model Kits

(Warning: dead animals and animal parts herein. I wrote before that this project might offend some people, and I'm convinced.)

I'm mainly done with this Animal Model Kits project. I've been booked a whole lot between when I started it a couple months ago and when I finished it last week. They're specimens, if you're wondering. I got them from an online supply house, so you could get yourself a set, if you're inclined. I worked with a stylist, Suzanne Bryan, who was great. I could see I had reached my limit in arranging the parts, so it was time to call in a professional. Suzanne did a great job styling the animal parts, and I liked collaborating some.

It was nice to have someone else around while I was disassembling these animals. It was pretty creepy, not only cutting them open, but just having them around. But cutting them open is worse.

While prepping them, I returned to ideas I come back to periodically, about death and life and our disconnection to each. Cutting through muscle and bone, though bloodless, made me realize how infrequently I come into contact with such things, when everything is killed, cleaned, prepared cooked, sealed, packaged and delivered to me, all nice and tidy.

I thought this might have a lot to do with entitlement, not entirely, no, but partly. If I had to kill and clean a chicken, I might have a much better sense of its sacrifice, and therefore feel more grateful while I ate it. And really, that applies to food, clothes, everything. We're so disconnected from the origin of our goods it's easy to float off into some Star Trek wonderland where things just...appear.

The project grew out of a story I read about David Lynch and his Christmas presents one year. If I remember correctly, he obtained animals like chickens and rats, disassembled, labelled, and froze them, then packaged them up, with instructions for reassembly. I thought that was pretty freaky.

Visually, I wanted to try this top-down technique; I'd seen Hunter Freeman and Dwight Eschlimann use it well.

I'm kinda thinking about Joel Peter-Witkin, but then...naaaaaah. I think his stuff is way more disturbing...