John Zissovici: n'Apparatus

AAP Spring 2014 Exhibitions

"If animals did not exist the nature of man would be even more incomprehensible." — Georges-Louis Buffon

n'Apparatus is a large-scale photographic installation, an apparatus for examining the space of interaction between man and animal at the former slaughterhouses of Rome. Its focus is the Pelanda, the building that was used for skinning animals, and is currently the main exhibition space of Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome (MACRO) in Testaccio.

The project transforms the over-head tracks, installed for transporting animals through the building along the stages of their "transformation" from animal to meat, into both subject and mechanism for documentation. The tracks choreographed alternative sequences of movement through the building to which both man and animal (and now camera) must submit.

The view of the floor recorded by a camera mounted on the tracks, and the view of the tracks themselves from the floor, more than 400 images in total, are assembled into two mosaic planimetric views. The two views are then superimposed into a composite layered image of the compressed space where men and the suspended animals were locked together in a ritualized mechanical dance. The mechanization of slaughter casts a long shadow on our definition of "human."

This exhibition is sponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts.