Inked Pork
April 14, 2007 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Wim Delvoye makes art out of skin, filming it in extreme close-up, or, at his Art Farm in China, by tattooing pigs which are later stuffed or skinned. More images: 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by jack_mo (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
(We've discussed Delvoye before, but that post was about poo, not pigs.)
posted by jack_mo at 7:15 AM on April 14, 2007

Ick. I don't know about you guys, but I try not to kill anything while being artistic.
posted by Mr_Zero at 7:23 AM on April 14, 2007

makin' bacon is now part of the art!
posted by bruce at 7:27 AM on April 14, 2007

Any relation to Lydia?
posted by Iosephus at 7:31 AM on April 14, 2007

As part of the very good Art Safari, Ben Lewis got tattooed alongside the pigs.
posted by zamboni at 7:32 AM on April 14, 2007

Rather ham-handed political statements, if you ask me.
posted by hermitosis at 7:44 AM on April 14, 2007

I'm not very squimish, but blackheads popping out like little maggots really made my stomach turn.
posted by lemonfridge at 7:45 AM on April 14, 2007

The model trucks (mentioned in the article linked by zamboni up there) look awesome, though.
posted by Iosephus at 7:58 AM on April 14, 2007

Metafilter: that post was about poo, not pigs.
posted by eriko at 8:12 AM on April 14, 2007

I'm not cool with giving pigs all-over tattoos and killing them for the sake of "art".

However, this reminded me of a short story I read at Strange Horizons, Magnificent Pigs...which features tattooed pigs.
posted by tastybrains at 8:32 AM on April 14, 2007

The whole concept as described in the FPP turned me off so much I didn't even click the links...

Therefore, I have nothing to say....
posted by HuronBob at 8:42 AM on April 14, 2007

I know approximately zero about tattooing, but aren't pigs (dead? alive? I don't know!) used to train tattoo artists anyhow?
posted by mendel at 9:12 AM on April 14, 2007

I do not believe that pigs should be tattooed. I find that really disturbing.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:18 AM on April 14, 2007

So he tortures animals by pricking them with needles over their entire bodies, then kills them, and calls it "art"?

I'm all for eating animals, and for using them in medical research, but this is gratuitous, unnecessary, and wrong.
posted by orthogonality at 9:29 AM on April 14, 2007

I'm not very squimish, but blackheads popping out like little maggots really made my stomach turn.

I was surprised that this bothered me much, much less than the Enya-like music playing the background. It's an evil synergy, for sure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:56 AM on April 14, 2007

Also: This reminded me of Roald Dahl's short story Skin (spoilers inside).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:59 AM on April 14, 2007

The pig tattooing seems kind of ethically dubious, and the tattoos aren't even all that great. If you are going to sacrifice pigs for art, at least make good art.

I'm not very squimish, but blackheads popping out like little maggots really made my stomach turn.

That film reminded me of being 15 -- you'd squeeze a small spot, and what seemed like miles of stuff would come out. I don't miss having zits, but I kind of miss the process of squeezing them. (I used to have a recurring nightmare, where I would start squeezing a pimple, or blowing my nose, and there would be a never-ending stream of stuff coming out, so that I would have to keep stepping backwards and backwards as I filled the room in front of me. I don't think I have had that dream in almost 20 years. I don't want to know what Freud would make of it.)
posted by Forktine at 10:01 AM on April 14, 2007

Awsome! So I no longer have spend hours methodiclly improving my drawing, painting and perception skills. I just have to think of the grossest most shoking thing, film my self and my friends doing it, follow all of this up with a few obstuse little modern art catch phrases and voila! Fame and fourtune.
posted by Wonderwoman at 10:03 AM on April 14, 2007

Sorry, I'm an ass. I stopped at the video when I made my last comment. I just finished looking at the rest of the links and the gestalt of wim's stuff is, in my opinion, the opposite of what I previously complained it was. In summation I'm an ass. This happens every time I make critical statements about art.
posted by Wonderwoman at 10:26 AM on April 14, 2007 [1 favorite]

odinsdream: "No shit. Human beings are alive.... how profound."

I'm not too much of a fan of this work in particular, but I do think it's important for art to remind us of things like the fact that we are animals and we are just as alien and freaky as the rest of nature. You may say it's obvious that "human beings are alive", but I think a lot of the time we abstract ourselves and eachother into personalities, or occupations, or a million other categories that divorce us from our nature as complex, and somewhat icky colonies of cells existing within the world and rules of biology. Art is there to give us new perspectives on issues like this.
posted by Drexen at 2:20 PM on April 14, 2007

Oh dear, guess I'll be the only one in this thread who enjoyed this particular aspect of Wim Delvoye's work. Yes, it seems wrong to me to cause pigs additional pain by tattooing them before killing them.

That said, Louis Vuitton uses pigskin to line its bags and trunks and tattooing a pig with Louis Vuitton logos diminishes the ridiculous pretention connected with the logo. So his art seems potent that way, taking the mickey out of designer logos.

The squiggles of sebum coming out pores are, imo, as interesting to watch as volcanoes or other natural things. There is a raw intimacy to pinched zits. Looking at skin so closely, at tabboo whiteheads and blackheads, it's humanising to me. It takes away the phony airbrushed skin of models and puts up-close and personal reality in its place. I enjoy looking at reality, in all its details, even when it's not so pretty.

Thanks for the post jack_mo.
posted by nickyskye at 3:04 PM on April 14, 2007

This is not art. Art affirms life. This man is more brutish than the living beings he tortures.
posted by chance at 6:30 PM on April 14, 2007

"I'm not cool with giving pigs all-over tattoos and killing them for the sake of "art". "

I don't understand. So if you tatoo a pig it becomes immoral to slaughter it? What is it about tatooing the pig that turns a normal, everyday event into something immoral? Pigs' only domestic uses involve killing them. With the exception of pets, which constitute only a tiny fraction of a per cent of domesticated pigs, ALL domesticated pigs are slaughtered. Why is tatooing them first immoral? This makes absolutely no sense.

I think your so-called morality is like some kind of emotional button that you never examine or inspect rationally, you just open your mouth and let whatever comes out come out whenever the button is pushed.
posted by lastobelus at 9:08 PM on April 14, 2007

One thing to note: the pigs are heavily sedated before they're tattooed.

And I'd argue that Delvoye's use of animals is more respectful than, say, the uncredited use of rabbits or badgers and sables in more traditional modes of art production.

Blazecock Pileon writes 'It's an evil synergy, for sure.'

Yeah, the syrupy backing music really makes that piece - it's the nature documentary equivalent of the cheesy chicka-wacka funk porn soundtrack.

nickyskye - I thought the Vuitton logo piece was interesting too, since it made a clear point. Unlike, say, the use of Russian prison tattoos, which just seems confused in a 'Er, yeah, the pigs aren't, like, free' sense.
posted by jack_mo at 3:38 AM on April 15, 2007

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