5 - 7
Gut Instinct: Art, food and feeling
The Gucksman Gallery, Cork.
25 November 2016 - 19 March 2017
Artists: Marina Abramovic, Sonja Alhäuser, Domestic Godless, Elif Erkan, Fiona Hallinan, Siobhan McGibbon, Abigail O’Brien, Thomas Rentmeister, and Neil Shawcross.
Gutted, gutsy, gut feelings, gut wrenching, butterflies in your tummy, go with your gut - are all expressions used in everyday language, art and literature to portray a raft of human emotions. How we feel is driven by both emotional and visceral signals and while neuroscientists by training are conditioned to think of what is happening above the neck in terms of the regulation of our emotions, research at the APC Microbiome Institute is literally turning this concept upside down as scientists begin to realise the importance of gut function and the food we eat as critical to our mental well-being.
The Domestic Godless guide to the Thinking Intestine and Philosophical Balance.
In recent years, the Domestic Godless have become attuned to the speculative physiological attributes of particular foodstuffs, but more recently we have turned our attention to both ‘gastric memory’ and the ‘brain-gut interface’.
Research has identified that food passing through the lower end of the digestive tract, lingers in areas attuned to particular modes of philosophical contemplation. These areas we have name after the philosophers whose work and thought exemplify attitudes to existence as a carefully balanced meal passes through, and the gut extracts its desired quantity (and indeed quality) of nutrient(s). (Note: we see no coincidence in the fact that the variety and proliferation of exotic foods, new ingredients and technology for their preservation introduced to the western diet in the 17th and 18th centuries corresponds to the blossoming of Enlightenment philosophy.)
The Domestic Godless guide to Enteric-Philosophic Balance and the Brain-Gut Suppository.
Given that the digestive tract has the ability to behave like a second brain, we have concluded that our gut has the power to play a decisive role in our philosophical reasoning, depending on what we eat and the speed and passage of the food on its journey. The combined length of the small and large intestine is roughly 7.5 metres and sections of the duodenum and the colon correspond differently in sending thoughts to the brain, much in the way that historically, Western philosophers have digested and corresponded to the thinking of their precedents and peers.
A healthy passage will, over its course to a tuned mind, play out multiple analyses and produce a balanced philosophical thesis. However, in some cases, a greedy or imbalanced section of gut may hold on to the bolus of food and extract a disproportionate amount of nutrients which can lead to antisocial behavior and even self-harm in the case of the Schopenhauer tract.
To combat such imbalances, the Domestic Godless are experimenting on a range of suppositories, made from a range of top-grade foods with probiotic attributes, ranging from Auvergne cheeses to Kashubian Lacto-Fermented Gerkhins, each designed to combat an eponymous philosophical gastric disharmony. We might add that no child-safety regulation is required and they will double up as amusing canapés.