Art goes the whole hog
IT APPEARS to be just an oversized inflatable pig, but Japanese artist Saeborg’s Slaughterhouse-15 could be Dark Mofo’s weirdest installation yet.
Opening tonight at Melville St’s Avalon Theatre, the installation sees performers dressed as piglets birthed out of a giant blow-up mother pig before being killed by a farmer. They then turn into zombies and engage in a Japanese dance party.
“It is spectacularly weird,” admits Dark Mofo executive producer Lucy Forge, pictured with associate creative director Hannah Fox, right.
IT looks like the set of a children’s TV show at first glance, but a Dark Mofo installation by Japanese artist Saeborg could prove one of the most confronting the festival has shown.
Opening at 5pm tonight at Melville St’s Avalon Theatre, Slaughterhouse-15 will involve a litter of performers dressed as human-sized piglets birthed out of a giant blow-up mother pig before they frolic around a technicoloured farmyard.
The free, all-ages show puts the giant inflatable pig on centre stage next to an inflatable garden showing blow-up slaughtered animals next to inflatable faeces.
Dark Mofo executive producer Lucy Forge said the installation was one of the strangest things at this year’s festival.
“The artist is dealing with gender politics and the commodification of human and animal bodies,” she said.
“Saeborg’s really interested in animal husbandry and farming and the impact that has on animals and humans.
“It is spectacularly weird, beautiful and strange and just seemed like a gorgeous addition to the Dark Mofo program for those reasons.”
Five local Hobart performers will join a Japanese crew to perform as the birthed piglets who fight one another for a taste at the mother pig’s teat.
The performers will then pretend to be slaughtered by a farmer before they turn into zombies and engage in a Japanese-style dance party with the audience.
In previous years Dark Mofo has used real animals for sacrificial performances but Dark Mofo associate creative director Hannah Fox said organisers hadn’t deliberately gone down a “safe” path by exhibiting with inflatable animals in 2019.
“In similar ways, for some audiences it may be a little bit confronting — it’s certainly a bit more fun and joyful but I wouldn’t describe it as more or less safe,” she said.