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Kjartan óli Guðmundsson

Food objects & recipies
Reykjavík / 2017
In order to create something you must destroy something: this is a fact we humans have to deal with in our existence. Yet in modern society, we have in many ways lost our connection to the processes we depend on in everyday life to survive. In modern western society very few have had the experience of taking an animals life, despite the fact that this is something that most people depend on in their daily consumption. To us, animals appear as a packaged product in the shelves of supermarkets with no resemblance, trace nor memory of the living being it once was.

This project is the outcome of my personal experience of taking the life of a cow. The outcome was to create a material that deconstructs the animal to its core. By using collagen, the main structural protein of animals, and transglutaminase, an enzyme that bonds proteins derived from its blood, a solid plastic like material was made. The material was then translated into an object and presented in a ritual where 4 elements representing the lifecycle of the cow - sun, soil, grass, and the animals own blood - were mixed into a cocktail and served in a cup made from the material. Those who observed were then offered the choice of consuming it or not.

The essence of the project is found in the story both the material and ritual carry about the responsibility we have with our consumption.

Once, if my memory serves me well, I was a worker. I created from what i was given, I was the god of my own existence, master of life and death. King of that land which I built and I lived in plenty!!!!

Dependent on nothing else than rocks and mud. From mud did I come and mud would I become.

Do you remember when beauty was just a reach away?

Oh what an age we inhabit!!! Age of disconnection. Disconnection of minds and hands, disconnection of the real and unreal, disconnection of life and death

Beauty has been put into systematic trails.

Now i stare in to your eyes. I feel the blood of my ancestors run through my veins, blood of nordic men which killed and raped merely for their entertainment.

The devil steers my hand and with a single touch your consciousness is dis-connected…….

Master of life and death!!!!

I promise to become a worker, your muscles will become my muscles, your skin will cover me and give me warmth, the life of your veins will be mine, from it I will bind your bones. I will carry your life-will like my ancestors did before me and there ancestors before them.

Beauty is just a reach away.

Blood & Bones from Kjartan Óli Guðmundsson on Vimeo.