Now featured at Artspace through October 30, Barbara Weissberger’s wall installation The Liver’s Ten Kinds of Desire conjures immediate disgust and intrigue. An organized amalgamation of photo-collages, the most visible feature of the installation is that each collage includes an image of raw meat. Weissberger says of the work, “Disgust was much on my mind as I worked on the installation – a central image is raw meat.” The concept comes from Yusef Komunyakaa’s poem Anodyne which exalts the body and its urgent desires – “the liver’s ten kinds of desire/& the kidney’s lust for sugar.”
The artist’s process involves many layers. Objects are first arranged and photographed, then those images are drawn on, rearranged, and reflected in a mirror before being photographed again. The resulting images are cut out and organized into a wall-sized installation.
But the piece is about far more than just shock factor. The artist sees meat as both “body and food; in turns beautiful and repulsive; both nature and culture.” This is exemplified by her frequent incorporation of flowers into the collages. Of the gallery-goer she begs the questions: “How easily do sensations of disgust and desire slip from one to the other? How does this slippery relationship drive and shape us as individuals with psyches and bodies, as social beings and as a culture?”
Come to Artspace to try and answer these questions for yourself.
Moses Balian is an intern at Artspace and History of Art major at Yale