Alfonso Borragan (UCL) - 2017-18 Students

Stone ingestion and a metabolic Photography

This practice-led PhD research aims to explore the ingestion of foreign bodies and the effects of their appropriation by the human body. It contemplates the mouth as a site of profanation as well as a mediating device of possession, digestion and knowledge. The research will be developed by a series of collective ingestions and the development of a video-essay. Could this be realized through a metabolic photography? Could this photography produce a different way of memorizing?

The project proposes an artistic reading of stone ingestion while questioning the pathologizing of this practice by psychology. Stone ingestion, an ancient but unstudied field of research will be an axis that unveils the paradoxes between scientific categorization of human behaviour and the inexhaustible pluralities of culture. This research reflects on different processes of ingestion such as the biological, cultural and historical. It will start by investigating communities that ingest stones; the Pays Dogon meteorites ingestion in Mali, the Haitian clay cookies or the eating of Terra Sigliata in Egypt. I will approach this work through the theories of Dr. Chevalier Jackson, who argues that these ingestions are produced by a biological and ritual necessity rather than a psychological pathology named PICA (Psychological disorder of eating behaviour).

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