Hommage ou Inconvenance?
In 2010, after a decade of devout vegetarianism, I began to hunt, kill, and eat the willow ptarmigan that thrive in the forests of northern Quebec where I was born and raised. I have learned that hunting animals is, ideally, an intellectual, spiritual, and expressive act, and I will only eat meat of animals that I kill myself. Intensive farming methods have turned meat into an inanimate object and the cycle of life-and-death into an economic equation. Thus, I hunt—and with an awareness of how my requisite sustenance (animal or vegetable) affects the natural environment from whence our planet’s food, no matter how industrialized, inevitably comes.
By rendering the spirit of the animals we eat visible and, by extension, precious, Hommage ou Inconvenance? draws attention to the gulf between the food so many human beings unquestioningly consume and the biophysical world. Each sculpture in this series honours the willow ptarmigans I continue to kill and eat. Out of respect, I refuse to waste any part of the carcass, including the bones. The ptarmigan skulls I incorporate into each piece thrive with personal symbolic value, reminding me of the lives I have taken in order to perpetuate my own.