Taxidermy Tea Party

GENT, Susannah (2011). Taxidermy Tea Party. [Video] (Unpublished)

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Goat Boy and other Journeys: Taxidermy tea Party This short documentary ‘Taxidermy Tea Party, followed an earlier video entitled ‘The Reynard Dairy’. Both feature the process of taxidermy and are intended to diffuse the experience of abjection to the material through the nature of the performance. This video is of Susannah with Fay Musselwhite and a final year student Eleanor Watts (who was writing a dissertation on fine art taxidermy) and two red deer heads. The conversations had during the skinning have been edited to fragment and condense the content. Similarly to ‘The Reynard Diary’, the film maker is exploring how little information is needed for a narrative to carry. The content of the project has developed out of Susannah’s long term research interest in the Uncanny. Studying ‘abjection’ as a related emotional and psychological state, Susannah used taxidermy to explore the public’s response to dead flesh. The original installation work entitled ‘Goat Boy’ was a small person with the preserved head of a red deer sourced from an abattoir. This work was intended to produce feelings of abjection but also incongruous humour, which could draw a parallel with the uncanny sensation. Both suggest, along with the incongruity theory of humour, that cognitive dissonance may be a factor in how these emotional states are expressed. This project originated during Susannah’s residency as Bank Street Arts where she met poet Fay Musselwhite, also a BSA resident. The two created GBAOJ and performed the work live at the Sheffield Poetry Festival in 2011. Initially this work consisted of 4 poems with audio visual accompaniment and a short documentary film. For the Off the Shelf Festival later that year, Linda Lee Welch and the Only Micheal were invited to respond to the work and create a second act.

Item Type: Video
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Depositing User: Susannah Gent
Date Deposited: 28 May 2012 16:17
Last Modified: 28 May 2012 16:17

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