And then we ate it

A project by António Leitã0

Meat is (among others) a formal matter: the abstract shapes of the different cuts of cows, pigs, and chickens, as well as the rounded processed meats like sausages and patties, prompt a convenient dissociation from the animals they come from.

Its industrial production —necessary to satisfy the demand of a massive human population— is far removed from the small-scale rural origin where animals are cared for and fed with organic food.

In his sculptural work, António Leitão (1999, Évora, Portugal) highlights this disconnection that he experienced first hand when he moved to Lisbon to pursue his Bachelor of Fine Arts and saw that the impersonal nature of industrial farming had nothing to do with what he had experienced with his grandparents in rural Évora.

After earning his Bachelor's degree in 2023, António pursued a master’s degree in Sculpture at the same institution. Now, as an Erasmus program student at Bauhaus Uni in his final year of his Master's, he continues to explore the intricate relationship between humans and animals through his mixed media, whether as sources of sustenance, emotional companionship, or even with other human beings."

About António´s interest in working around the contradictions of meat, he recalls immediately:

“—I remember being very little and spending most of my time in my grandparents’ home. Seeing how they moved and did their routines. Each one of them had a very different role in that house and both did and still do them very meticulously, out of respect on each other, and dare I say, love.

But the thing I remember the most was seeing my grandfather after breakfast heading towards the chickens as I went beside him. I used to observe my grandfather with admiration, him as gentle person, with his big farmer hands, cleaning the chicken coop, sending them seeds and laughing because they are funny.

And occasionally we would bring a knife and a bucket. Now that I’m remembering it, it was almost a sacrificial act. He would put on the apron, grab the chosen chicken and seat nearby the garage.
“Poor little ones” says he as he cuts their throats, waits for them to die and hangs them in the ceiling with a bucket under to where the blood flows. It remembers me of when my grandmother hangs out the clean laundry on the clothesline.”

21.05.24 - 08.06.24

11m3 Projektraum wird finanziert durch die Unterstützung von: