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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

EAT MY DADDY!



EAT MY DADDY! is another loaded one-liner by Bjorn Calleja. Sentences are important to him, in a way that a clause would somehow complete a fragment positioned at the center of tangential ideas. Because Bjorn loves to talk, he is gifted with association - in circuits inherent in yackety-yack, he hones the transitions of conversation. Therefore, relationships between things are salient in his works. For example, sculpture is not a space filler in his exhibitions but an installative device. 

EAT MY DADDY! is a cycle of abstractions grounded in an axis of sculpture, anchored not to Art anymore but to an existential idea. Maybe that's why Bjorn's not afraid to be funny this time, because the theories of Finality are absurd that it would be easier to shelf them as Fictions. Okay, let's say we'd like to sound serious, that this return to being means we are not taking our lives for granted: can you imagine what that would imply about Bjorn using his artistic practice to talk through and conclusively purge the subject of Life and Death? It would add to the tally of boys discussing Existence by means of the religions they knew, renounced, and rechristen to fit the brand of mortality that complement the bombarded lifestyles they lead. It would add to the tally of boys who discover where they go by thinking about where their fathers went because the coffin is not where their fathers should belong - i.e. "Dad didn't have a spirit. He had cells, and now they're on rooftops, and in the river, and in the lungs of millions of people who breathe him every time they speak!" (read/ watch 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close') 

However, Bjorn didn't paint skulls to refer to romantic, lofty reconciliations of the ephemeral life. (But when he does, it means he's on another channel of catharsis - a social one.) Instead he situates a cow - the ambivalent cow, a creature that is peculiar enough to spilt individuals from each other because it establishes beliefs based on which side you are on: the Carnivore or the Ritualist or the Hippie. In the case of EAT MY DADDY! the cow becomes the patriarch via ingestion not through air particles but through the food chain originating from compost. Bjorn situates it comically in his one-liner and the representation of the unwitting cow as a life-source - a mediator of synergy a.k.a. a digestive tool to round up generations of grass, meat and fathers.

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