Critical Cooking Show
Project
The Case of Meat
Designer
Valeria Meiller & Agustin Schang
Synopsis

The Case of Meat explores manifold stories behind the meat industry in Argentina. Taking off from the personal narrative of Tata Moya, an ex-worker at a slaughtering facility in the Argentine pampas, this film opens the curtain on an industry socially designed to remain out of sight. Working against the common assumption of the slaughterhouse as a space designed to confine and conceal the violent encounter between butchers and cattle, the video delves into the complex cultural tales of a country known worldwide for its meat production and steak culture. What if meat isn’t separated from cattle? What if humans and animals are part of the same overarching narrative? By looking at disparate stories surrounding cattle and meat, The Case of Meat speculates about modes of kinship with other species, their role as co-workers and co-habitants of our world, and the making of a common history. 

Biography

Writer Valeria Meiller and architect Agustín Schang met in New York City in 2013, and realised they had been born and raised sixty miles apart in the Argentine Pampas. Brought up in rural Buenos Aires, they have developed a practice based on their homeland landscape and their overall interest in spatial narratives. Their first collaboration was The Dinner Series at the Emily Harvey Foundation in New York during 2014 and 2015. For this project, they activated the foundation’s archive thorough oral histories, performance pieces, and spatial interventions. The Case of Meat is their second collaboration, in which they examine the meat industry in Argentina for the Critical Cooking Show at the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial. They are currently working on the forthcoming Animal Infrastructure, a video installation about how working animals activate rural space, and The Shifting Stone, an experimental preservation project on the Tandilia Hills. 

Valeria Meiller is an Argentine writer based in New York who works on subjects related to ecology and the environment. She is the author of the Spanish poetry books El Recreo, El mes raro, and El libro de los caballitos (forthcoming). She holds a BA in critical theory (UBA) and MA in cultural studies from Georgetown University, where she is currently finishing her PhD with a thesis on Argentine visual and literary representations of slaughterhouses from the perspective of new materialism and animal studies. 

Agustín Schang is an Argentine architect, curator, and cultural producer based in New York. He has collaborated on multiple cultural projects with institutions including the Americas Society Visual Arts, Chicago Architecture Biennial; New Museum’s Ideas City; Friends of the High Line; Emily Harvey Foundation; The Leslie-Lohman Museum; The Shed; CCCB Barcelona; Fundación Proa; and Ministerio de Cultura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. He holds a BA in architecture (UBA) and a MA in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia University.

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