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Mixed Media

Beasts of Prey is a sculptural installation that examines the hierarchal ranks of a militaristic infrastructure. I have associated the aggressive nature of war to the predator vs. prey relationship that exists in the behavior of animals. Majority would agree that the structure of war acts as a predator and prey conflict between two opposing parties. However, I am not interested in this conflict between enemies considering society is subject to change their perspective depending on which side they support. Instead, I have chosen to reveal the predator/prey dynamic within the military foundation. In a hierarchy, the most powerful are only a select few who have the ability to dictate and give orders to the greater majority who are considered lesser beings. The hierarchy of ranks within the military suggests that the generals, lieutenants, and majors have more importance than the soldiers since they are assets to the government. At the top of the hierarchal pyramid is always the government.

When people feel the need to be defensive, they tend to act in a similar manner to animals. Typically we become aggressive out of fear, violation, or protection of others and defending one’s territory. I have related this behavior to the attitudes of war and the use of violence to resolve issues between governments. This is my reason for portraying the military structure through the use of animals. The rats – being the soldiers that carry the tank-like structure – are natural scavengers and have a particular unimportance to society. They are disposable to us since their only significance is to follow orders. The cats represent the generals of the war and possess more power considering they typically hunt rodents and other small creatures. My intention is not only to explain the order and significance of the military ranks, but also to show how corrupt the hierarchal system is in regards to individual lives. Not only in the case of war, but also within social classes, where the wealthy and important remain on top, and the poor and unimportant on the bottom.

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