love act: marche funèbre

Artist: Betina Habjanič (SLO)

The fact that we can eat plants and animals, but not people, opens a meaningful insight into the value system in which the death of some is radically different from the death of others.

The intervention of the contemporary consumer culture, which defines the differentiation of death, is a result of the anthropocentric understanding of the world, in which the ethics of plants, animals and people is based in the functionality of the food chain.

In the name of functionality people have invented a series of techniques with which living organisms are chopped up until they can no longer be recognised, designed and packaged into products and thus depersonalised to the level of pure materiality.

A product created from animals and plants creates the impression of a strong inner logic, which is shown as the nature of things: as if the animal or plant would have died of natural death or had volunteered to die so that someone else could live.

This simple technical operation, which changes the killing of plants and animals into a process within the food chain, creates a frame in which the plants and animals, changed into food, obtain a symbolic body – they are still alive, but excluded.

Suddenly we are dealing with two different forms of death, natural and symbolic: the death of an individual being and death as a part of the food chain.

About Betina Habjanič

Betina Habjanič (b. 1992, Maribor, Slovenia) is studying at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana, with an emphasis on hyperrealism, ready-made, minimalism and brutalism, and the University of Applied Arts Vienna (MA in TransArts).

She has carried out numerous actions and activities in the animal rights community, which gives her artistic intensity a true intonation. She worked in the art cinema Udarnik, participated in the painting colony (2015), was a jury member at the StopTrik Festival, conducted art workshops with children (MARS Institute), and cooperated in the project ‘Practical manipulative methods in developing tactile material for the blind and visually impaired’ at Maribor Art Gallery.

She collaborated with Animal Shelter Maribor and association For Animals! to enforce animal rights which promote veganism as a political movement. In the K18 Gallery in Maribor she had the performance ‘Man is Animal. / Animal is Man’ (2016).

She works with activist organizations from abroad and incorporates this kind of visual material into her artistic work. In the last three years she created a line of performances: ‘Un( )counted’ (2017, Kapelica Gallery), ‘100KG’ (2017, public action, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kapelica Gallery), ‘Love act: Inversion’ (2018, Kapelica Gallery), and Other spieces (2019, Kibla Portal).