Carne picada by María Abaddon
Ground Meat by María Abaddon
Ground meat. It sounds cold, unpleasant, brutal even. Shapeless, lumpy, we eat it without giving a second thought to its origin. We consume it every day, alongside many other (misshapen) phenomena, which, in turn, feed on us, also on a daily basis.
Equally thoughtlessly, we let ourselves be absorbed by so many other violent phenomena.
The exhibition at 66P in Wrocław is the first individual presentation of María Abaddon’s work in Europe. The Peruvian artist in his practice addresses topics such as gender, obstetric violence, motherhood, and more recently – body modifications and identity. The complex nature of the problems increasingly resembles an entanglement of interdependences that is difficult to unravel. As is the case in real life.
The featured site-specific installation is organic, in terms of both its form and the process of creation. On selected days from 4 October, the audience will have an opportunity to see as the work gradually comes into being, swelling before their eyes. The artist will develop it by adding, stitching and remodelling new elements. The forms will take on new colours, shapes and connections, resembling quasi-living organisms, expanding, devouring space, while remaining hidden underneath many layers of the mushrooming organic body. Soft, sloppy, scrambling, dripping, splashing.
The forms are as overwhelming and repulsive as they are attractive. Their colourful, delicate crevices seem to invite us inside. They are both tempting and disgusting, sending out shoots and spreading inexorably. The boundaries between the individual and the collective become blurred, the end of one organism gives rise to another. Fascination and repulsion. Rejection and shelter.
The entangled fibres trigger associations with ground meat. A tortured body that has lost its identity and individuality, becoming a shapeless mass. Its substance, beginning and end are mixed; colours and forms are unrecognisable, pale, stitched together, consuming each other.
The resulting installation is a metaphor for an entangled community – the Peruvian society. The artist is its part, he lives there, but at the same time he is running away, disowning it. The amorphous mass also refers to riots, an everyday occurrence in Lima. Endless swarms of beings, a distorted concentration of pulsating organisms, living underground, no longer visible, covered and devoured by whatever remained on the surface, in plain sight. Like larvae gorging on the invisible internal structures. It resembles systems of inequality in a mass society: organic, unrestrained growth, resulting in asymmetric, despotic power of the apparent majority. At the same time, the existence of numerous, diverse minorities is forgotten, suppressed by this enormous, all-consuming mass.
Ground Meat is a cold, barbaric, unpleasant title. But this is also what social inequality, homophobia, violence and transphobia are like. The life of people experiencing the last-mentioned form of discrimination is a daily struggle, especially in a country considered to be a Third World country. Difficulties are associated not only with the sex reassignment process. They are compounded by publications whose authors do not come from this group, do not understand its problems, but feel competent enough to theorise and criticise its members. The ideologies plaguing our times consume sensitivity, freedom, individual identity. Basic human rights are annihilated by the authorities, brazenly, without blinking an eye.
Creating a visual metaphor is an expression of protest against the overwhelming structures of power. The artist rejects their incessant escalation and denial of responsibility, ruthless self-cannibalism. Unfortunately, this metaphor transcends borders, reaching our society, where discrimination, especially on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, transphobia, homophobia and all their reprehensible mutations seem to be widespread. The artist shows them in a shocking, red-hot way, right in front of everyone’s eyes. He wants to prompt us to reflect on this mass, our position in it and that of the people around us.
Ground meat. A lair. Cosy and safe. A shelter. A place where we feel safe. Home.
Inés R. Artola, curator of the exhibition