Becoming Edible

Becoming Edible is a series of still life photographs about animal-flesh. The lush and larger-than-life sized images of chicken, beef, pork and fish reference seventeenth-century vanitas paintings. My work explores the inevitable reality of eating this flesh: the sacrifice, the ritual, the pleasure and the discomfort of consuming another living creature. A transformation from life to death occurs before an animal enters a body to sustain life. Chopped and decorated animals are served in countless ways, yet the animal is so altered it is easy to forget it was once living and breathing.

In these works, miniature food models serve as surrogates for flesh in order to emphasize the transformation itself. This substitution adds another layer of inquiry into the important role of preparation and presentation. The camera and lighting intensify textures and shapes, allowing for a haptic experience of the faux flesh. A play with emotions of both pleasure and repulsion transpires through the between states of raw/cooked and alive/dead of the meats. Their idealized forms are similar to depictions of foods found in gourmet magazines, and visually reflect a desire to make food look appetizing and alluring.

While the monumentalized "flesh" suggests abundance and grandeur, the darkness and simplicity of the presentation build a contemplative space to consider the ambivalent feelings surrounding consuming animal-flesh.

Copyright © 2013 Diana M. Sanchez. All Rights Reserved.