Bereid je voor om je tanden te zetten in ons vlezigste nummer ooit, geïnspireerd door het werk van kunstenaar Francis Bacon die de grens tussen mens en beest laat vervagen. Verlustig je aan tweehonderd pagina’s vlees in al zijn verschijningsvormen, tegen een achtergrond van het complete spectrum van menselijke huidtinten. Word betoverd door mythische schepsels, half mens-half beest, godheden die door hun verbondenheid met de natuurlijke wereld in het bezit blijken van iets bovenmenselijks. See All This #26 onderzoekt onze liefdevolle relatie met andere dieren, en is een noodzakelijke reminder dat we uiteindelijk allemaal vlees zijn.
‘Flesh and meat are life! If I paint red meat as I paint bodies it is just because I find it very beautiful. I don’t think anyone has ever really understood that’, Francis Bacon said. It would be impossible to create an issue about meat, flesh and beasts without including the inimitable works of the Irish-born painter. Pushing the limits of what we could ever distinguish as human, Bacon expressed a desire to ‘paint like Velázquez but with the texture of a hippopotamus skin’.
Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton was praised for her distinctive confessional verse and unflinchingly raw expression. In her poem The Touch, she invites us to encounter the longing for touch and sensation of contact hunger. In the words of Erica Jong: ‘She can make the language sing.’
IN THIS ISSUE
‘His whole life was a firework show’,Max Porter says about Francis Bacon(1909-1992). For his book Porter inhabitedthe painter in his last moments, and picturedthe final workings of the artist’s mind.A mind possessed by animals, flesh andthe colour of blood.
Award-winning science fiction writer Terry Bisson is best known for his witty short stories. In this issue, he tells the tale of two aliens who are discussing whether they should welcome foreign beings from another planet, while also providing us with some much-needed perspective on humankind’s very substance: ‘Thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat.Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal!’
They’ve often been considered man’s best friends,but pets might well just be on their way to becoming man’s favourite child: ‘Around 44% of people would rather cuddle up with their pet than with their life partner.’
Mythical human-animal hybrids started out as demigods and divine missives, and evolved into fin-de-siècle symbols of fear and discomfiture. To this day, they serve as a reminder of our place in creation ‘Picasso embraced the Minotaur as his new avatar.’
By examining our position within the natural order alongside developments in artificial meat, Peter den Dekker imagines what place animals will have within our future food chains.
Ever since Plato, touch has been ranked lowest among all the senses. Because of its associations with basic survival and sexual temptation, we have abandoned touch in our quest to prove our superiority to animals. In actuality, however, we’ve simply denied ourselves the most precious form of connection we have.
Recommendations: what to see and read this summer
The colours of the pages in this issue were inspired by Humanae, a photographic work-in-progress by artist Angélica Dass. In it, she attempts to document humanity’s true skin colours, seeking to demonstrate that what defines human beings is our inescapable uniqueness and, therefore, our diversity.