An-Atomic Cloaca – 2013
Oil on board. 100 x 100cm
A capital metaphor
“Hedonism’s catharsis of excess, avarice and greed – man (and Smith) decreed.” (Extract from a poem by V. Gordon 1975)
The ritually seductive and delicate making process as well as the mass consumption of coffee, has become an integral part of Australian culture. Owning an Atomic home coffee-maker has, since its importation in the Nineteen Fifties, become a status symbol. The machine itself is an acknowledged icon amongst the yuppie Sydney (and melbourne) sets – coffee snobs, barristas and … arrivistes – all agree.
The Atomic as a symbol is an apt exemplar of Australian consumer behaviour. And typical of our mindset, we are blissfully unaware of, or purposely ignore, the effort and extensive exploitation of labour required to grow and produce coffee, which represents the true cost of this precious addictive social stimulant.
As a metaphor, coffee and the An-Atomic Cloaca, sums up our Australian purgative aspirations and lifestyle. And as the old saying goes, “you get out what you put in.” A laxative, coffee stimulates muscle contractions in the rectosigmoid colon (terminal part of the large intestine) and hence, the extruded excremental emission below the proverbial plimsoll line.
I was inspired to create a pictorial riposte to Delvoye’s work which is owned and exhibited at the MONA Gallery in Hobart. Treating the machine as a metaphor for the digestive tract, I added an opened outlet to release the bodily effluence.
Artist Wim Delvoye’s Cloaca Professional (2010) is a constructed machine requiring manual feeding which produces simulated human excrement. Paralleling our human digestive system, this strongly anti-aesthetic work, offers a real olfactory challenge to viewers.
OY OY OY OZZIE OZZIE OZZIE