Moving toward Meatyard

Moving toward Meatyard, Performative image (2019); After being inspired by the stylistically haunting photographic works of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, four artists; Annagh Kelly, Anthony Cullen, Hana Bohacova and Justin Brown, collaborated in a performative photography piece to recreate atmospheres inspired by the photographer. The uncertainty of decision was of interest to the group. Through a constructive negotiation, the process for reaching the end image became the content of the photograph.

While setting up a recreation of the Meatyard photo ‘Romance of Ambrose Bierce #3’ three of the artists prepare for the shot. This contained the essence of deliberation and decision making which served as the beginning section of the piece. The group started off using latex masks, they were given advice from an experienced artist to change and use paper mache. This introduced a certain amount of tension to the group as it went against their gut instincts for the project.

The middle section of the photo is the action phase but it is also one of turmoil, represented by different speeds and directions of movement. By this stage in the process, the group have changed to paper mache but are regretting it and are feeling that the project may have progressed too far to go back on their collective mistake.

They eventually go back to the original idea of latex masks and follow their gut instincts no matter what the visual outcomes are. The final section of the photograph is a play on Martin Scorsese’s ‘Billy Batts’ scene in the film Goodfellas where the group ‘get rid’ of something knowing that it may have consequences. Opening themselves up to future doubt and possible regret.