'Towards a Curdling of Desire and Disgust' is photographic work working with the understanding that what constitues erotic as abject. This notion of desire in my work evolves from my interest in feminism, and the ways in which mainstream contemporary feminist resistance is domesticated by capitalist pleasure and the Lacanian understanding of ‘jouissance’, as a traumatic force of agency that carries more pain than enjoyment or pleasure.
Within contemporary culture feminism is a philosophy of neoliberal individual fulfilment by means of consumption rather than any collective emancipation, where there is a danger that feminism is so de-politicised that it only pertains to the ability to consume what you desire, or influenced to desire - consuming products, yourself, ideology. I portray this in my work by using still life food as a symbol for feminised, erotic excess and consumption where we consume highly elaborate images vicariously, in an imagined state of deliciousness, as an unrealizable desire and almost as fetish. This commercial presence of food infers a certain position of exceptional privilege: having fulfilled its purpose as a requirement for biological survival, the question of food supply becomes a matter of recreation.
I reference and adopt this commercial visual language and attempt to momentarily defer consumer gratification by utilising Julia Kristeva’s understanding abjection as an apparatus to intervene within consumption practises, aiming to evoke a sense of repulsion and further, a curdling of desire and disgust. The state of abjection being, a physical sensation of stomach-churning aversion or repulsion when encountered with something abject, which momentarily fractures our normal lives, shaking us out of a normal understanding of society; our identity, the moral, social and political order. This understanding is reflected in my work through the imagery of food being contaminated, leaking, oozing and transgressing borders. As well as the understanding that often what is regarded as dirt is, 'matter out of place'."