"Cultural Exchange"


Hog confinement has rapidly progressed to the level of insanity in the mid-west in the last few years. Smithfield Hams (the largest pork producer in the U.S.) was bought by Shuanghui International Holdings in 2013. So we are polluting our air and water supplies and then sending the pork to China. Many of the owners of hog confinement operations don't even own the animals they are raising. Obviously not much has changed since the beaver became the first animal to be trapped and shipped to another continent in staggering numbers in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The wise owl is looking across the field of corn (another centuries old invasive species) at the  too familiar metal sided hog confinement operation. The buildings are fairly innocuous in their design and physical presence.

Poppies have represented various meanings related to death, sleep, and even redemption. The poppy is also a flower that has traveled throughout the world for one reason or another. These particular poppies came from the garden that was directly behind where I placed my tripod.

The flies appear courtesy of the hog waste from the confinement operation that is spread on the field before the corn is planted. Art history is full of references to flies having various meanings. None of them positive, and all of them pertaining to death, rot, disfavor, and evil.

Finally the teacup, empty and stained, is a reference to the country where a large percentage of the hogs will be sent. I'm not against the country of China or it's people. I'm against greedy, stupid people that make painfully myopic decisions that have catastrophic results.