carmen alemán

This body of work uses food as an art material and as a medium to convey certain themes. Food has been used extensively in art for centuries and continues to be used in contemporary art. Women, in particular, are intimately connected to food, due to cultural, social, political and psychological issues, and their use of food as a medium is an expression of their female identity.

"Food is culturally gendered as feminine because it provides a means of discovering unresolved feelings relating to feminine identity and maternal loss"

The project is divided into two separate pieces:
- Part 1: "Meating"
- Part 2: "Eggsistence"

My intention is to explore themes through the use of food as a metaphor. I aim to explore issues of gender, sexuality, beauty, power, the passing of time and death.

"Eggsistence"

Eggsistence is an art video about the passing of time and existence from the potentiality of events in the future through the experience of the present to the finality of the past.

In this piece, a woman in a white dress is sat on a chair swinging her legs, surrounded by eggs. The video shows this action repetitively from different angles. The legs are the pendulum of the clock moving rhythmically to and fro. The eggs stay still, an alternative egg-timer. The legs move gently or vigorously to represent the concept of time, that time drags of flies. In reality, time, always goes at the same pace. We expect something else to happen during the video, but nothing does. This is like life and existence, in the sense that, many times in our lives, our expectations are too big or we just wait for something to happen. However, "Life goes on", it reminds us of the transience of things, the futility of life.  The tick-tock from the soundtrack emphasises the idea of time. The swinging legs are associated with as if the woman is remembering her past, her childhood.

The video is shot with a very slow shutter speed, to show stilted movement. At that speed, it leaves a trace behind, like in life. Time ticks by, leaving only a trace of our existence.

Eggs are a symbol of life, death and renewal, the cycle of life. Eggs are, in fact, a liminal food, neither dead nor alive. They represent our continuous human liminal state. The minute we are born, we start dying. At each stage or our lives, childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age, it is like we emerge from a shell, transformed into something else, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. Many people believe in reincarnation or the after life, where we leave behind our bodies or shells and our spirits carry on to another place. Our concept of time and existence is relative. Life is eternal.
 
The video is colour coded. "Eggsistence" uses white. The background, the dress, even the inside of each shell is white. White is the colour of innocence, purity, simplicity and futility.