Facing Io

Facing Io: Prairie Abattoir

Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta
9 February - 14 April 2013

[video projection (6 minutes)]

Facing Io: Prairie Abattoir considers the inter-species dialectic of abattoir workers and animal subjects while examining industrial meat production.

Prairie Meats, a family-run abattoir in Coaldale, Alberta, is a facility that processes livestock from independent farms in the region, many organic and free-range operations. Because of their business philosophy of transparency and the humane treatment of animals, Kavanagh was able to spend a morning on the kill-floor, observing the slaughter of six cows. For 25 years, the abattoir hadn't significantly changed its methods, resisting pressure to increase efficiency and production. This video documents vanishing practices just prior to upgrades to the facility.