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Sweetwater, USA
Sweetwater Jaycees Rattle Snake Round up
9 – 15 March 2020
In collaboration with the curator Jaroslaw Lubiak
Chief operator Victor Zébo
Production Galerie Albarran Bourdais
and with the support of the curator Marion Vasseur Raluy

Deadly charm of snakes
Contrary to previous works, this time Angelika Markul wants to bear witness to the actual event. Avoiding mere reporting, she uses her artistic technique to transform the experience of it. The event is the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup in 2020 and a contest for the title of Miss Rattlesnake Charmer Pageant. The contest winner is expected to participate in crucial Roundup activities like killing a rattlesnake, skinning it, and supposedly eating the meat. She becomes a queen of the massacre. The argument for it is pretty practical: “The Roundup is a great benefit to the entire area and is needed to control the snakes’ population.” In this case, for the artist to bear witness is not to look for sociological, cultural, or any other explanations of it but rather to bring to reveal the obscurity of the human actions. Motivations of the participants, reasons for the pleasure derived, are not to be clarified. Instead, the artist focuses on the beauty of the victims — the rattlesnakes. This imagery will be juxtaposed with that of the beauty contestants. Aesthetic charm enhances the crucial aim of the witness — to raise questions.
Text by Jaroslaw Lubiak

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