Video stills, BLOOD RITES/ EAT YOUR WORDS 2010, DVD, Edition of 5. 21min 42 sec
My face is covered in honey and 23ct gold leaf. I place 50 individually engraved razorblades in my mouth. Each blade is then moved from cheek to cheek and spat out into a black hat. The gesture reminds of communion and even of the concealing of blades in prisoners’ mouths for nefarious intentions.
Each of the blades is engraved with a generic term for a family member including ‘mother’, ‘father’, ‘son’, ‘cousin’, grandmother and so on. However, the list of family names also include non-blood relatives such as ‘partner’, ‘divorcee’, ‘ex-wife’ etc.
The work has been slowed down to almost 40 percent of its original speed making for a meditative viewing experience quite at contrast to the violence of the repetitive gesture.
The soundtrack was made using samples of various ships and submarines traversing the oceans (perhaps referring to my own heritage, and the shipping trade routes through which South Africa was founded).