A tribute to Carolee Schneemann's MEAT JOY (1964) set in the oil fields and dipped in red paint.
a film by Christina McPhee
Shot at the San Ardo Petroleum Fields, Monterey County, California; remix/appropriation of clips from MEAT JOY;
Concept, sound, photography and montage by Christina McPhee christinamcphee.net
" I had never seen "Meat Joy" until I happened upon it at the Tate Modern in November 2007. I like to shoot video under the radar (as it were ) guerilla style so I stole a few shots on my little Canon camcorder-- as much as I dared (lest a guard stop me).. Later in post production I was working on combining footage of my own performances pouring toxic (but very pretty, dayglo) paints-- with my shots from a nearby petroleum field. I am interested in the 'pharmakon' meaning poison, drug, antidote, paint, etc. There, too, at the oil fields, it is difficult to shoot- often security guards will stop me from filming at these kinds of sites, even from a public road. So the 'stolen' or 'stolen kisses" aspect of the shooting is important both at the Tate and at the oil fields-- an illicit look of love. In post production, I was working with effects of doubling and tripling a shimmering repetition of frames shot at the oil field. The montage increasingly intensified around multiple stacks of frames of the moving 'limbs' of the well heads. The limbs movement reminded me of Meat Joy... and that footage I had archived from 2007. Now, the performance footage of your work would reverb in the strange almost zombie repetitions of the body-like pumps. An aura or echo of Meat Joy could act as a touchstone or point of entry, or even a pharmakon itself--as people begin to be able to think about consumption 'as' bodies -- meat R us-- oil R us. Even the color associating flesh and blood-- each of my energy field films in the Tesserae of Venus series tends to move towards its own signature dominant colour, and in this case, it was the shared deep reds of the pouring paints with your film's colors of flesh and thrown meat-- how our 'meat' is invaded by the 'paint' of petroleum-- or as if to say we are painting in oil on a cellular, inside out level, within and without....)
On a more personal level, "Meat Joy" has inspired since that cold day in London- because of the courage and finesse that it took Caroleeto create this work-- it has infected me as well, it has reminded me of how necessary it is to make outrageous claims through powerful forms. " -cm