“A new year is upon us, marking a time for reflection and anticipation. 2016 was a turbulent year, underscoring the important role art plays in encouraging dialogue between people and reflection upon ourselves.” ~ Art Advisor and Producer Camille Obering
A heads up: Viewer discretion advised. This clip contains images of a live butchering. I want to post this latest in Obering & Friends “Rural Violence” film-documented performance piece for the reasons Obering gives, and I’ve reached out to Obering with questions. At post time, the Jackson Hole Art Blog hasn’t received a response.
So I’ll put it to you, readers. The filmmakers wish to address many themes, and here’s the list, directly quoted:
– Death and destruction leading to life and enlightenment.
– Creating awareness that the luxuries many thoughtlessly consume often have a backstory (sic) many reproach (food production, electricity, transportation, cheap anything).
– Humanity’s animalistic (sic) instincts such as dominance, submission, struggle, proliferation, and acknowledging the grey area that exists separating humans from beasts.
– Persecution of the innocent.
– Tension created between what one considers natural verses amoral.
– How sanitized and curated our lives are, and how short our attention spans have become.
– Finding beauty in and meditating on what could be considered brutal.
These are themes we examine constantly; we’re a very aware generation or two; in Jackson alone we have two very fine organic food markets. That’s privilege, and we have a multitude of options when it comes to buying our food. We know that even organic meat gets butchered. How animals live their lives before butchering is most important: are they treated humanely or confined to horrific conditions? What were the circumstances for this animal? How did this creature end up as the “Rural Violence” star? Is it the “innocent?”
I’m not a vegetarian, but I do question my choices and often think about what took place before I pluck the sanitized package of meat I’ve just bought from the rack. Every day tensions between the haves and have-nots become more visible. We are a community packed with environmentalists, biologists, forestry experts, wildlife biologists, fishermen, ornithologists and conservation activists. Many hunt to feed their families.
Yet, for the touring public coming to visit Jackson Hole, any reference to how indigenous cultures survived and hunted are pretty smoothed over. Places you might find full-faced references are the J.H. Historical Society, the Yellowstone and Grand Teton Visitor Centers, the Library, the National Museum of Wildlife Art and National Geographic, just to name a few.
So what is new about these messages? I don’t think the themes are surprising; what’s new is how they’ve been treated in this piece of film. Rather than replicating, how about presenting a true indigenous group carrying out a routine life ritual? Would that get the point across? It’s the conversation I’d have. It’s a question, and raising questions is a primary goal here.
A Song Bird’s “Baby Ask”
A second locally produced video, “Baby Ask,” is in its final week of fundraising on Kickstarter, looking for dollars to offset costs of a ready-to-roll music video starring local songstress Maddy German. The video premiers at Jackson’s Center for the Arts at 6:00 pm, January 27th.
Inspired by emotional upheaval, personal growth and, as it turns out, upheaval within the film’s production group and the rupture of German’s relationship with a former beau, the flick has two goals: transferring to film the struggles we experience with our “other selves,” and help launch a larger musical career for German and her crew.
You can catch the “Baby Ask” trailer here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/497811323/baby-ask-a-music-video-from-wyoming