ARANTXA ARAUJO & MONIQUE BLOM
MEATING THE CHALLENGE
“Meating the Challenge” is the latest collaborative work between multidisciplinary artists Arantxa Araujo (@arantxaaraujo) and Monique Blom (@mnqblom). The participatory performance was part of Nuit Blanche Festival in Saskatoon (#nbyxe2017), that responded to budget cuts imposed on the province by the Saskatchewan government.
Dressed as butchers, we created a popup butcher shop with chopping blocks, meat grinders, sausage makers and a Canada 150 burning barrel. Over the course of 6 hours we ground, chopped and cut up Canadian History textbooks, Saskatchewan education curriculum and various other historical documents. By grinding the pages, we created a meatlike product that we turned into sausage and packaged it for the public to burn. In our desire to illuminate the public and encourage them to make the “right kind of cuts”, we offered up history textbooks from various disciplines asking the public to continue to keep the fire burning throughout the night.
Ilumminated by an overhead projection of educational and historical materials that will be forgotten on one side, and by a projection of long processes that allow goals to be reached, we performed laborious actions that are usually performed by the people that will be most affected by these cuts. In these actions, we have found an active way of surviving the violent rhetoric and political positions of current administration's around the world. These jobs are formed by individuals that through community care for each other and inspire our collaboration. This project strives to expose the invisible visible focusing on the unnoticed labor left for second class individuals. Labor necessary for the proper functioning of cities participating in the Western economies.
The environment created was a ritual to mourn, to dismiss, to discharge the losses in these cuts. We created an image with bleeding books, with people chorally reading what we as a community were losing, a way to allow the fire to alchemically change us to survive these cuts.