Art Theory Criticism History Motion Stasis

A Guillotine Project in the Works

Tom Sachs,Chanel Guillotine (Breakfast Nook)

Coming soon? Georgia

“A BILL to amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the death penalty generally, so as to provide a statement of legislative policy; to provide for death by guillotine; and for other purposes.” This bill allowed for the use of guillotine on those on death row to preserve their organs for donation harvesting.

Tom Sachs’ Chantel Guillotine (Breakfast Nook) is a stunning piece that seems to portray decapitation as a glamorous means of death. Is Sachs celebrating the glamorization of violence and death or is he commentating on the corporatization of violence and death? If it’s glamorous enough will the elite of the world openly embrace this means of execution as an exciting and exotic way to kill the imprisoned and still preserve bodily organs for harvest? Eyes, kidneys, liver, etc. are all preserved the destruction of electricity and the poisoning of  lethal injection.

It would be interesting to use the image of the guillotine in other ways to bring attention to issues in the culture and society.

What would be the effect of a promotional video that showed the public following over-reaching authority directing them not into “security scanners” but into guillotines? Would this be an effective cultural critique or would it be over-blown?


February 17, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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