THEY USE OWN BLOOD TO MAKE BLACK PUDDING IN STAGE SHOW
DAILY MAIL FRIDAY
FEBRUARY 4TH 2005
Two Scottish artists have provoked outrage over a gruesome show in which
they cook human blood black puddings live on stage.
The Black Pudding Self-Portrait will see John Beagles and Graham Ramsay
create the dish using two pints of their own blood as the key ingredient.
The performance will be held next week at the Royal Scottish Academy in
Edinburgh as part of the Body Parts festival.
Glaswegians Beagles and Ramsay, who have exhibited in the Museum of Modern
Art in New York, will combine a pint of blood each with traditional ingredients
such as barley, suet and onions. Ramsay said: The gallery manager
in New York didnt realise what was going on until we started doing
it. She threatened to stop us due to health and safety regulations. The
other problem was that we had to smuggle the blood into the U.S. because
youre not allowed to import blood products and we didnt have
enough time before the performance to have the blood taken there.
The pair store blood from home visits from a nurse. Ramsay, 36, said:
She comes to our house and takes a little every day. He claimed
the human version tastes better that the original: Its like
a gourmet version of a typical black pudding. We havent eaten it
all, but we did have a little nibble and it tastes great. For the RSA
well make a batch of the black pudding and fry it up in the gallery.
It will probably take half an hour to an hour, maximum, depending on how
long people can stand the stench.
At the moment the recipe is a blend of both of us but in
the future wed like to do a single malt version.
Ramsay said the performance stemmed from their interest in grotesque
self-portraiture, low quality meat products, consumption and cannibalism.
But Lady Marion Fraser, founding Chairman of the Friends of the RSA, said
she would not be attending the exhibition, adding: "When we founded
the Friends of the RSA, we would not have considered this as being particularly
artistic its not what we had in mind hen we thought of contemporary
art. Its not the kind of thing that would attract me to the gallery.
There are lots of other things going on there of greater importance than
Bill Wallace, former convener of the Church of Scotlands Board of
Social Responsibility, said: Its not very creative or imaginative.
Everyones got their own tastes but I think its pretty sad
to show that sort of thing as art. Its a sad reflection that the
gallery had nothing better to show.
A spokesman for the City of Edinburgh Council said that the artists would
need a licence to perform, adding: We would then want to discuss
with them the details of what theyre planning to do and take it
from there. Theres nothing more we can say at the moment.
RSA exhibitions co-ordinator Colin Greenslade confirmed that Beagles and
Ramsay had previously used their own blood in their work. But he added:
This is the first time this particular exhibition has come to Scotland.
Its a good step forward for the RSA to put on something like this.
It helps us to get away from our stuffy image of an antique institution.