Octagonalisation

Octagonalisation (2017)

Wax, cotton, hair, white vinegar, cider, red wine, milk, sugar, lemon juice, miso soup, cheese puffs, eggshell, paper pulp water, pigmented plaster, MDF, looped audio, (plinth and sculpture: 38”x22”).

Made in collaboration with Rachael Docherty, the work operates on a kind of satire of the expensive ‘fancy candles’ available today; nice looking candles that smell like vomit and burnt hair (because the wax is infused with homemade 'essence de vomit' and the wicks are made of hair). Originally used as functional sources of light (made from leftover animal fats for example) they’re now estranged from this, (as highlighted by the choice to exhibit the installation in a brightly lit room). Moreover, the bodily smells of the candles further this satire in questioning how far our commodity culture extends and may progress, with bodies as capitalist resources, and artificiality (e.g. compound smells – expensive to produce) replacing real experiences (often free). The experience of the work is therefore a jarring one; in appearance, display, and clarity of the audio is quite clinical, attractive and geometric, almost modernist in reference, but the smell and bodily source of the audio evokes viscerality and grotesquerie.