Akeroyd Collection


P. Staff, On Venus, 2019

On Venus is a looped film comprized of two parts: the first is of scratched, warped and sometimes double exposed footage that documents the industrial farming of hormonal, reproductive and carnal animal commodities that include urine, semen, meat, skins and fur. The footage has been altered for high saturation and colour temperature, the hues are sometimes reversed to create colour negatives and jarring visual tonalities. These adjustments make for compelling viewing but also add a disturbing quality to the footage which, coupled with distorted Gregorian chants, underscores the menacing reality of what is happening. Far from a human-centric view, where the struggles and discomfort of the animals are written off as a by-product of progress, Staff centres the animals as a corollary of human experience, and in doing so is able to question the standards by which all ‘others’ are read, measured and controlled. The video’s second half comprizes a poem describing life on Venus, an alternative state of non-life or near-death, a queer state of being that is volatile and in constant metamorphosis. The poem is infused with the violence of pressure and heat, destructive winds and the disorientating lapse of day into night. Combined in this way, the sequence demands we consider contested bodies and hostile environments. Staff asks what lives are deemed visible in institutional spaces that determine our behaviours and codify our experiences.

MediumSingle-channel HD video, colour, sound
Duration13 minutes 6 seconds
Editionof 3 + 2 APs