Eat, Drink, and Be Merry


The three parts of this project tell intertwining stories of vultures, fruit bats, and viruses connected by contemporary disease spillovers from animal hosts into humans. The installations view recent outbreaks of the Nipah and rabies viruses in Bangladesh and India through the historical and problematic golden ages of two European countries with global reach, combining symbolic Dutch and Victorian decorative arts with patterns derived from scientific knowledge. Both fruit bats and vultures emerge as complex actors within a global stage influenced by colonial power, trade, and unexpected interactions between humans and animals.

Eat: Bamboo Chinoiserie table, Victoria cake with icing, animal cake toppers (cows and rabid dogs), Royal Standard bone china tea cups and saucers in “Indian Summer” pattern, plastic flowers, vase, bamboo perches with gold rope and tassels, custom-made wallpaper; Drink: brass chandelier with fruit-bat crystals, 17th century-Dutch-style table, Tyvek® table cloth laser-cut with diagrams of viruses and biohazard symbols, stemware with palm wine, hand-painted Delftware-style vases with plastic flowers, oil on canvas on panel with carved frame, digital print on canvas; Be Merry: Formica marble, blue tarp, 97 ABS vulture skulls, artificial grass.The installation was accompanied by a collection of writings by the artist (below).

Installation of "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry" at Upfor gallery, Portland, Oregon, 2016

Much to Digest, companion text and images. Sample pages. Click here to download the full PDF.