See No Evil

BFA thesis series, 2018

 

wood, metal, stoneware, Mixed Media

Artist Statement

This visual representation plays on the mass production of chickens in the factory farm system. The theme of this work revolves around the phrase, “See No Evil,” in connection with the blindfolding of these chickens. This idea of impaired vision relates to a method used in raising poultry, in which the housing units block out any light sources in order to keep the chickens calm. When the birds are calm they move less, which prevents them from gaining any muscle and, in turn, makes them fatter. This method is legal since it does not inflict direct harm on these animals; however, the consumer, who is metaphorically blindfolded to the treatment of these animals, may not support this method for many reasons. The biggest reason being how chickens are advertised to the consumer as “free range” or “cage free,” which does not mean much when their exceedingly voluptuous bodies prevent them from taking more than five steps before their legs give out.

The chickens presented in this sculpture represent the unnatural process of development and the factory-line production of eggs and chicks. These animal-human hybrids cry out for help but unfortunately it is of no use as they become vulnerable to the factory system once separated from their mother. The precarious alignment of these cages, combined with the industrial aspect of the metal chutes cascading from the chicken enclosure, gives us a glimpse at this unpleasant reality through my artist perspective.