Francis Bacon, Logic of the Sensation, 1981.
When we think of flesh and meat, the first thing that comes to mind is usually food. But also our own bodies consist of meat. For thousands of years, meat has played a central role in cultural and ritual contexts as well. In short: meat is food, body, and cult. The transition from the realm of the living to the realm of the dead becomes apparent within it. In the exhibition, the relationship between men and meat as well as meat’s complex cultural connotations are presented while exploring the tensions surrounding the becoming and decay of flesh. The exhibition is interdisciplinary and spans the collections of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, including archaeological, ethnological, and art-historical objects from 5,000 years of human history. The works range from a clay tablet containing 58 different porcine terms from the late Uruk period (approx. 3300–3000 BC) to the works of contemporary artists such as Vanessa Beecroft, Christian Jankowski, and Bruce Nauman.
(© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, photo courtesy of Jörg P. Anders.)