In some of our recent work we have introduced live animals into the art making process. For example we have made work from chasing rabbits in car headlights on night time country roads, made an installation of chicken hutches out of 'out of date' art and made large scale photographs of animals let loose in the gallery/studio.
We have tried to extend this process at Ssamzie and have produced a number of works where an animal figures strongly. We have found that an interesting aspect of having an animal in the studio is the question of what happens to the art when it becomes a perch, or a hutch, or a den, which of course also provokes some questions about the human animal.
The platform or mat for the birdcage is made from a drawing quoting the infamous Symbionese Liberation Army ( the S.L.A ) revolutionary slogan, then cut out of perspex. We also used this slogan for the basis of a sound work being played in the main gallery.
The slogan, “Death to the Fascist Insect that preys on the life of the people”, really grabbed us, in the sense that, despite its clear and genuinely repellent terror credentials, the fact remained that it's revolutionary rhetoric was somehow compelling, and ultimately, rhetoric, be it revolutionary, political, cultural or otherwise is our meat and drink. If our rendering of it in perspex is self consciously a little bit hapless and decorative, it's a way of trying to negotiate the confused sentiments of the text.
live birds, laser cut perpsex, flash animation, sound