Experiments in public space with preserved cowskin on styrofoam
The question of postmortal dignity is directly related to the one of prenatal dignity.
In the project kuh Michalis Pichler took the tanned skin, claws and horns of a cow that had been slaughtered for meat consumption and sewed it over a sculpted corpse carved out of styrofoam. The partial coincidence of signifier (skin of a dead cow over styrofoam) and referent (dead cow) makes it a hybrid of an image and a real dead cow.
Afterwards the work was positioned at different locations in public space in Berlin as well as in the town hall of Bruehl, a small town close to Cologne. Rather than a transcendental object or a theatrical performance it is an experiment.
Kuh is a visual representation of death and a counter-image to natural history representations which are always "lifelike". The image of an individual dead cow also confronts the schizoid media reality of clean, plastic-packed meat as a commodity on one hand, and on the other hand, images of happy cows on green fields as provided in advertising (milka, muellermilch, emzett, la vache que rie etc).
Michalis Pichler uses public space and everyday life both as a source and as an outlet. Employed techniques include camouflage/imitation, and infiltration, as well as sculptural, and archaeological and ethnographic procedures. His work has appeared in numerous places, amongst them the Postfuhramt Berlin, the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje and the Goethe-Institut/InterNationes New York where he was a DAAD Arts Fellow in 2002/03.
GREECE / AUSTRIA / GERMANY / TURKEY / MEXICO