Analog: Back to Butchery

December 15th, 2009
|

12A_1319
It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to devote any time to my Butchery project. Over the last couple months I’ve had to pass up opportunities to see and maybe shoot some interesting butchering demos due to other commitments or sometimes just sheer exhaustion.
This week I broke out of that rut and did two butchering shoots. Both were subjects I’ve shot before cutting more or less the same meat, but this time I got to shoot with film, which was really pretty exciting.
29A_1297
First, on Wednesday, I finally got a chance to visit The Meat Hook, the new Butcher shop run by Tom and Brent formerly of Marlowe and Daughters in conjunction with The Brooklyn Kitchen. The space also doubles as a teaching space and I sat in on a Pig butchering session. A year and a half ago, it was one of Tom’s classes that got me interested in this whole Butchery thing in the first place. I enjoyed watching it all over again with a stronger knowledge of the subject.
To see more from that shoot, check out the Flickr set Pig Butchery at The Meat Hook.
30A_0033
Then on Friday, I stopped in at Greene Grape Provisions to shoot Bryan for a while as he took apart half a steer. Beef is a little foreign to me, I don’t cook it much, so picking up the anatomy and the scale is really interesting. It’s should be obvious, but cows are really, really big and so are their disassembled parts — the bones, the muscles and the layers upon layers of flesh.
dia_0126
Those photos are posted on Flickr as well.
It was also particularly interesting to see what the textures and colors of film do to such a visceral subject matter. Without geeking out too much on my analog experiments, these shoots have been an interesting way for me to see how the hues and tones of one roll differs from another. Some bring out the pale greens of the fluorescent lights, others pop with the bloody redness of the meat — and then there’s Black and White. It’s fascinating, all of it.
---_1239
---_0111
I’m currently looking at more photography classes at ICP for next year, particularly classes that are about building portfolios and working on long term projects. I hope to use it as an opportunity to pursue this Butchery project more consistently and to have a body of work that I can present for a show or publication.
I hope to spend some time reaching out to other butchers and delving deeper into the subject. The neighborhoods of New York offer all sorts of ethnic markets that prepare meat based on cultural and religious practices. Given the time and initiative, that could be a profoundly interesting path to go down. I’d also like to round out the meats represented by photographing some lamb and maybe game meats.
There are a million ways to go with this project, so stay tuned.

Leave a comment: