In Morelos Mexico, at one time, there was a senseless killing
of them. Ignorance of their greasy habits, harbingers of death,
ritual fear. Slaughtered um all, all the way down to Chiapas. There,
they stopped the killers dead. Some tribe, some ancient cult still
venerates the birds’ services. Morelos began to fill with corpses,
even emaciated cows take months to bloat, split, trickle, become
dust. The bodies ran raw into cisterns and waters we believe can
make us clean. The state cursed in their absence. Finally, some
politico worried he might have to make good on a promise sent out
a posse. In every county from the ithimus up through Oaxaca(they
had to skirt Chiapas)they slaughtered a fat calf. Meanwhile, our
heroes shadowed the carnage; once Patricks’ banished snakes now
the pied pipers’ beguiled children. The butchers sat down with
skinfulls of pulque, in ridiculous sombreros, leaning into organ cactus
like cheesy souvenirs, heads bowed, as the carrion worshipers con-
structed temples of white bone, diseased saliva and black feathers.
Carnal tickertape. A wake of spoils. Vive! Imperators Triumphant!

© 2013 Abby Smith, Writer

My Muse, Refuse

Much of what I do with found objects is to consider what makes something sacred, or valuable, and why.

The motifs of binding and perforation are present throughout these works. I am exploring a common thread with multiple inferences. Nails and perforation have obvious implications in Western Christian culture, but have also been used in other cultures to represent thanks, protection, the sealing of oaths and ill wishes toward an enemy. My relationship with these symbols is in the style of some African fetishes– which I also see in the crucifix- the intention of binding oaths, sealing promises and making contracts. I am intrigued by the concept of an oath as an intangible way to secure a tangible effect- I will it into being.

For me it is preferable that a piece has ambivalent aspects; questionable materials, sacrilegious connotations (which is never my intent by the way) preciousness married to refuse, sacred to secular.

To make a piece with a single strain of meaning renders it static, denies its movement, and its own purposes outside of my hand.

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My work is available at 2AU Limited, in West Des Moines Ia. Continue reading