Pig Headed (2016)

“There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast. Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! I’m part of you. Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go. Why things are what they are” – the impaled pig head in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

Pig Headed calls into question the political terrain regarding the power dynamics in acts of external and self censorship. The work is inspired by the speaking severed pig head in Golding’s novel as well as the demonstrativeness of our highly mediatised ‘glocal politricks’, particularly regarding human rights and freedom of expression. Pig Headed speaks back to the abject pig head, which is both a window and a mirror that not only represents ‘the state’ and its autonomy, but the self too. In engaging with specific objects, indulging oral play, devolving language and nurturing pain, symbolic yet real actions morph Krastin’s body until he eventually becomes the pig head. As one of the characters in Golding’s novel considers, “Maybe there is a beast – What I mean is maybe it’s only us.”

Pig Headed was performed at Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival 2016 at Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery (Chicago, USA), the National Arts Festival 2016 (Grahamstown, South Africa), and the ICA Live Art Festival 2017 (Cape Town, South Africa).

Created and performed by Gavin Krastin.


Pig Headed: Gavin’s bloody art breaks our silence | Critter | Mike Loewe

Painful piece of performance art | Dispatch Live | Mike Loewe

Visionaries, mavericks and disruptors at NAF 2016 | My Port Elizabeth | Staff reporter

The Value of Labour: The Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2016 | Art Africa | Rat Western

Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival 2016: Day 5 | Writing on Performance | Jennie Klein

Live Art 2017 reflects the crises that are besetting the world | Daily Maverick | Jay Pather

Provocative, enervating & thought-provoking | Creative Feel | Staff reporter