I have just heard that my entry, Bon Appetit, shown below, has been selected as one of this week’s Editor’s choices in the competition, Taboo, run by the on-line contemporary art organisation Celeste.
The entry blurb explained that, “Works will be selected for their ability to spark thoughtful investigation on the taboo in question, as well as revealing how aesthetics can advance understanding on the subject being treated.” That seemed quite a tall order. When I thought about current taboos I realised that in Western Society most of those that remained were there for a good reason: few would argue that incest, paedophilia or bestiality should not be taboo. These were not prohibitions I wished to investigate. But also on my list of unequivocal taboos was cannibalism, less problematic because, around where we live at least, I can be fairly confident that it is not actually practised.
After I thought of the idea of a bloke eating a roast hand with evident relish, I just had to do it. It’s very different from my normal work but it was hugely fun to set up and kept a small group of us entertained on a wet November Sunday afternoon. Does it spark thoughtful investigation? After all, eating people is plainly wrong. I think nonetheless there is discussion to be had; with a growing world population, food security and hunger are huge issues. I hope that if you look beyond the hand it does spark viewers to think more widely both about what we eat and what we refuse, and why.
The deadline for entries to Taboo is tomorrow 16 December. Finalists will be chosen by 1o January.