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A spectacle of visual and visceral excess, directed by artist Philip Smiley and co-directed by cake queen Lily Vanilli, Feast premiers at the Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa in Paris from this week.
"In the act of eating...the confines between the body and the world are overstepped by the body...It triumphs over the world, over its enemy, celebrates its victory, grows at the world's expense" Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World
A collusion of distaste and disgust subvert the visual pleasures of this film. The luxurious scene - an opulent meal surrounded by a young family - is disrupted by the ensuing shift from the visual to the visceral.
The participants of this feast form an Edenic tableau of flesh and plenitude; which later becomes a triptych of violence, flesh and insanity, as their insatiable desire leads them to literally eat themselves.
jotta talk to multi-media artist and director Philip Smiley about the making of teh film:
"The concept for Feast quickly developed after I had the initial idea of a family devouring itself. Once I had the basic concept I could clearly see how the music, visuals, and mood would all fit together. I had to ask a lot of favors from people and do quite a bit problem solving due to funding or complete lack thereof! There were numerous obstacles while making it, such as people dropping out at the last minute, only having 15 mins to actually shoot, and sourcing materials on the day. Although it wasn't an ideal situation It miraculously came together at the last second."
"I thought of Lily Vanilli because she's obviously very creative in the cake department, and we wanted to work on a project together. Almost all the materials we used were very sweet and edible so I did get a sugar high as I worked. I also previously discussed with Serafina Steer about working on music together and this seemed like the ideal project. I knew she could create something quite moody, Baroque, yet modern."
"As this was a personal project I had no specific plans for it. Luckily right after I completed the film I was asked by Collectivo YOX to participate in a fashion/art film exhibition at the Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa."
The film explores the notion that with a civilised society comes detachment, and that even in a family unit there is only the selfish needs of the individual. "I think it is fitting for this time as it could represent the all consuming gluttony of the holiday season!"
Showing at Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa from December 18th - January 08th 2012.