Jean Lowe and Kim MacConnel
IN/SITE 92 was about borders. We wanted to talk about that in a way that was not about physical proximity—rather, we wanted to contrast how two cultures view the treatment of animals (specifically the cow or Bull). We had just returned from a 3 month journey around South India, which is largely vegetarian, and has a reverence for the bull, an avatar for the god Shiva. In contrast, Mexico has a deep reverence for the drama and machismo of the bullfight.
In creating a likeness of the Indian bull, Nandi, we wished to stay close to the craft traditions of both cultures. To build it, we used a light wood and bamboo structure, chicken wire, and a skin of papier mache. This enormous figure occupied a classroom in the Casa de la Cultura in Tijuana, sitting in serene repose like its South Indian model. The walls were covered with newspaper painted with broad red and white stripes found on the perimeter walls of many Indian temples. Over this “wallpaper” were hung three cardboard framed works: and enlarged postcard of stylized bullfighter and bull; a photo of a matador after the kill; and a photo of a dead bull being removed from an arena below a crowd of onlookers.
Ultimately the installation was controversial and prematurely removed.
Venue: Casa de la Cultura, Tijuana
Organizer: Installation Gallery