Friday, February 26, 2010

Ingest This...

The act of eating is a main theme in the caricatures that we are studying in class; they are metaphors of society and consumption. Given that we are currently in a consumption and consumer based society I cannot help to wonder if we know what we are consuming. In Spang’s article “Ingestion/ Pulling A Rabbit Out Of A Cat” she is interested in a time period and the subsequent paradoxes of imagery from France in the 1830’s in which it was commonplace for restaurants to serve cat instead of the menu suggested rabbit entrees. This also corresponds to a time when the king of France was more interested in the well being of his royal animals than that of his poor. She states “cats had replaced rabbits in so many stewpans, so rabbits had replaced people in the monarch’s heart and budget calculations.” (Spang 10). But do we know what we are ingesting today? I am not concerned with restaurants baffooning us (I have worked in my fair share, and have never seen the horrific acts that are often depicted in movies), but I am concerned with the things that we know are in our food. It is printed on the ingredient list, it is all the unpronounceable items and additives that I knowing eat without knowing the consequences. “Fat Donald” by Don Mak is a grotesque depiction of one of McDonalds most beloved characters. The image suggests what Ronald McDonald would look like if he actually consumed the fattening fare that is served there. We look down on him as he sits on the floor, about to burst at the seams, smiling down at the cheeseburger he is holding. I see this work as a comment on our societies poor eating habits, obesity, and the damages that these food choices of convenience can have on us. And perhaps we cannot entirely forget the air of mystery surrounding the processed meats that go into our chicken nuggets and burger patties. Yummy!


  1. Hahaha, this is a sad, and scary fact we all need to (and yet refuse to) face. We all know it's bad for us, and yet we still continue to sell it, purchase it, and consume it. This an absolutely grotesque image, and perfect representation of a grotesque idea/fact. We don't know/ don't care to know what were eating, as long as it tastes good and we don't have to cook it. People feed this to their children as 'treats' for their good behavior/accomplishments...little do they think about the damage it could actually be doing them. Fact= pretty sickening, as is this image.

  2. I agree, look at a loaf of bread, it's a totally different species than the home made bread my mom makes!! I mean what the hell is it! Why is it soo squishy and why is the crust so even and thin and soft. Or is there any nutrition at all in a poptart? Does it fall into any of the know food categories? I think we need to make a new category of food "super industrialized and undefinable".