“The body is a highly contested site – its flesh is both the recipient and source of desire, lust and hatred. As a pawn of technology, it is sacred and sacrificial, bearing the politics of society and state. The body is our common bond, yet it separates us in its public display of identity, race and gender… “
This body of work has evolved out of Kleemann’s concern for the diminishing value of human individuality on a global scale. Print and electronic media are full of stories of people cast adrift, literally boat people in many cases. The global economy is increasingly built on humans and cultures being dispensable, having a use-by date, the colonisers literally feeding off the backs of the colonised.
“In a consumerist society the body is nothing more than another commercial product to be monitored and controlled…”
From banquets and ballrooms to bedrooms and boardrooms, from the vulnerable human body to the hard-headed corporate body, humanity is becoming increasingly fragmented, commodified and consumed. Corporate and multi-national gluttony is on the rise. Advertising moguls glorify poverty and addiction, making buckets of money from the misfortunes of others; sporting heroes are bought and sold for unimaginable sums of money; the media feed off celebrity status in pursuit of a story, cosmetic companies bombard us about the need to reshape and sculpt our bodies to fulfil the dominant culture’s perceived desires, all in the name of greater and greater profits.
“… as if flesh were just one of the new (sculptural) materials of the age, like concrete, glass and steel… Through photography, ideas about the care and presentation of the body are disseminated and avidly consumed.”
Feast your hungry eyes over these exquisite platters and pots offering a banquet with a difference, a banquet of body parts laid out as rich baroque tableaux – cooked in the camera from fresh raw film stock, snap frozen into flesh pots. Lean cuisine and the bulging bits too: sanguine food for thought rich in tone and texture, full-bodied. Choice cuts, tender cuts, cheap cuts, off cuts, all served to enhance the flavour of our cultural diversity. Allow your eyes to be bigger than your appetite.
(Quotes from The Body, William A. Ewing, 1994/97, pg. 324, 333, 27, 10)
Mixed media installation – liquid emulsion on stainless steel and aluminium cookware, cotton fabric
Cooked was commissioned for the 1999 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
2009 – Cowwar Art Space, Cowwar, South Gippsland, Vic Australia
2009 – Horsham Regional Art Gallery (part of the Art Is… Tasty Festival), Horsham, Vic Australia
2007 – ANCA Gallery, Canberra Australia
2002 – Stills Gallery, Sydney Australia
1999 – Level 1, Southgate Arts & Leisure Precinct, Melbourne Australia