This Week in the Mercury


Friday, May 29, 2009

From the frying pan to the gallery... Bacon

Posted by Matt Stangel on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 4:14 PM

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Not gonna lie, love me some bacon, and when I see it out of its natural habitat—my stomach—I get all flustered, suppressing my pent-up hunter instincts. Thought I had done it all when it comes to cured meats, but recently a few artsy-things have set my baco-dar a'flashing.

If bacon didn't have a mythological representation, it does now. Sculptor Andrew Kirk fashioned a "mythological bacon creature" out of scrap metal, welding gnarled strips into a fish-like form he calls "Bakonawa: The Mooneater." You can find Kirk's bacon creature hanging at the Fine Grind Cafe through the month of June as part of a group show entitled "Metal Plaster Wood."

MIcki Skudlarczyk's Launch Pad installation, "Well Finished," takes the opposite approach to bacon mythology, attempting to make viewers think about how meat gets into the package. As a meat eater that has seen slaughterhouses, Skudlarczyk is interested in an animal's journey from womb to plate, raising a discussion on the poor quality of life experienced by industrially farmed animals through her art.

As a structural frame, Skudlarczyk bent wires into a series of upside down U-shaped ridges. The ridges are arranged to ascend in height, the smallest standing at one foot, and the tallest at upwards of five feet. Skudlarczyk covered the wire frame in caul fat (slaughterhouse leavings; mainly cured organ linings). This slug-like series of ridges leads to a slaughter ramp. As the featureless ridges get incrementally taller towards the ramp, they suggest an animal's journey through life, highlighting a shrouded existence within industrial farms. At 1 pm on Sunday, May 31st, Skudlarczyk is giving a lecture and Q&A at the Launch Pad Gallery—she might ruin bacon for you, so be careful.

Lastly, Jason Bacon of UNKL— Portland-based manufacturer of artsy, graffiti-centric toys— has a show at Compound with his partner-in-design, Derek Welch. While Bacon doesn't actually make bacon-related art, his name is fucking BACON, so it counts. Bacon made "character-based" silk screens and paintings specifically for the Compound show. The pieces are affordable 2D renderings of the characters from UNKL's popular line of toys, catering equally to lovers of graffiti and Japanese design art. The show ends June 2nd.

Alright, I'ma go get me a Baconator from Wendy's, 'cause that shit has crazy mad bacon all over it... Six strips, baby!

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