Artist Who Fed People's Flesh Back To Them Defends 'Cannibal' Artwork
An artist who has staged performances in which actors have bits of their own skin sliced off and fed back to them has hit back at critics who say it is wrong.
In his performance entitled 'Eschatology' Arturs Bērziņš takes a sharp scalpel to the back of two participants (a man and a woman) before chucking it into a pan, frying it up, and then feeding their 'meat' back to them.
The artist claims that the artwork is a comment on what would happen if there were to be a global food crisis.
He also said that anyone who fails to understand his art is 'trivial'.
Well, it turns out there are a lot of trivial people out there. After the video appeared online, Bērziņš has been forced to defend himself against claims that his work takes things too far and is possibly even illegal.
The artist claims that his work is the 'strong punch people needed to trigger self-reflection', reports the New York Post.
It's certainly triggered people, that much is true.
He continued: "We live in a time where we're overloaded by information. There's nothing that surprises us anymore.
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"So, the impulse has to be even stronger to reach somebody's mind. Cannibalism in our minds is connected with violence - horror movies, murders etc."
Bērziņš went on to compare people eating their own flesh to chewing your fingernails, and said that there is nothing wrong with it.
He added: "What we do daily with ourselves is much worse than any performance. The viewer has to face the genuineness. Genuine pain. Genuine action that has stepped out of abstraction into a real world."
The performance that has made its way onto the internet and caused all of the outrage was recorded at a museum in the Latvian capital, Riga, and saw Bērziņš don a white forensic suit and a mask before performing the gruesome task of slicing the backs of his participants.
The Latvian authorities are thought to be probing whether or not any laws have been broken, but so far, they have found nothing illegal in what he has done.
There is also a certain amount of doubt about whether the performance is actually genuine, although anyone who has seen the video would agree that if it is a fake, it's a convincing one.
Bērziņš concluded: "The viewer needs to be intellectually prepared for such an experience as this. Otherwise, they'll simply claim I have a screw loose and return to the infernal trance of everyday life."
Well, that's certainly one way of looking at it.
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Arturs Bērziņš