CARRION (2008)

Featured Long Durational Work


Duration: 72 hours

Text by Eloise Fornieles and Karina Vahitova
Cover photograph by David Birkin

In this 72-hour performance, Fornieles explored themes of violence and consumption. In a space strewn with discarded clothes stood a skeleton building over which the artist presided, guarding an animal carcass. For three days, she consumed no food while lancing the hanging meat with messages of apology and thanks collected from the audience. By committing herself to not eating for the duration of the performance, Fornieles challenged Western body idealism.

Compounding the difficulty of the performance was the active and voyeuristic presence of two cameramen, who acted as both witnesses and documentary-makers. Circling the space in quasi-military costumes, the cameramen resembled vultures, alluding to the symbiotic yet problematic relationship between photographers and their subjects. This aspect of "Carrion" highlighted the ways in which individuals are sacrificed to the power of the image, feeding society’s voracious appetite for visual consumption.

Forthcoming from IMMATERIAL:

A Conversation With Eloise Fornieles

Eloise Fornieles’ practice is predominantly performance based, using video, photography and the spoken word to readdress the way in which live performative acts are documented and received by secondary audiences. Her investigation into personal human connections is framed within a broader overview of the relationship between body and environment, and the individual’s place within society. Fornieles’ work creates a space for contemplation, whilst her own emphasis on physical endurance provides a backdrop for a more visceral understanding of the body as material and its capabilities. Engaging with strands of mythology, ritual and storytelling, and often depicting animals, she teases out the symbolic resonances that hold meaning within our everyday social interactions. After a BA in Fine Art at Kingston University, London, Fornieles graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2006 with an MFA in Fine Art Media. Selected exhibitions include Their Wonderlands, Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham; On and On, La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Natural Wonders: New Art from London, Babakov Art Projects, Moscow; Fashion in Film Festival, Tate Modern, London; Carrion, Haunch of Venison, Berlin; and Eternal Sea, Eternal Sky at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, supported by Art Production Fund. Fornieles was selected for the Artsadmin Bursary award 2013. Her website can be found here.