Admittedly, my art knowledge is neither vast nor sophisticated, but I do know I love me some Cronenberg-style body horror. And I’ll be damned if the folks at Animal haven’t found a new sculpture to give me the shudders! The piece, titled Matriarch, actually references a 1981 anti-nuclear protest, the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, where 30,000 women camped out at a British air force base. It was probably the largest sustained women’s protest ever organized.
As for the aesthetics, artist Andrea Hasler says it “[takes] the notion of the tents which were on site during the women’s peace camp as the container for emotions and [humanizes] these elements to create emotional surfaces.” Look, I know I’m a total rube, but I’m still just staring at the grody flesh shelter. It’s clearly very historical and political, but it’s difficult for me to interpret something this visceral with anything but teeth-grinding and cringing right now. I’m not sure I can quite process a meat tent intellectually just yet, but it’s cool as hell and I can’t stop staring, no matter how bad my nightmares are gonna be.
In the video below, Andrea Hasler gives some insight into the creation of Matriarch, as well as other, similarly jarring pieces.