Fried or Fertilized
“Fried or fertilized” is clearly post-structural genius using intentionally heavy-handed filming techniques to draw attention to the economic struggle of minorities and the banality of modern pop existence. The question of “Fried or fertilized?” poses the ancient biological question of investing resources into reproduction or immediate survival. Time and energy spent reproducing is wasted in terms of survival. Contrastingly, is not reproduction the ultimate goal of all living organisms?
The decision not to color grade is an interesting choice. It implies that this is “how it really is.” Without the enhanced vibrance and contrast of hollywood cinema, we are left with the daily struggles and dilemma of the underserved. Many of the scenes are placed in urban environments, the most common upon railroad tracks. Undoubtably, this serves as a reference to the american tradition of the “right” and “wrong” sides of the tracks. Perhaps this is a metaphor for minority culture in america. They stand on the verge of reaching equal status and yet discrimination persists preventing these young artists from ever truly crossing the “tracks” regardless of economic status. These real life scenes are placed in direct contrast and interspersed with the use of chromakey cutaways that place the performers in an obviously invented digital world. Perhaps this references the growth of porn culture and pedestrian act of image-shaping on social media.
One of these fictionalized locations features a white man in a blue tinted image of a slot canyon in Red Mesa, AZ. Is this the artists subtle implication that white culture is so removed from the natural world that appreciation only arises from their manipulation and control of the environment around them? Certainly, the presence of the male singers of African descent before a stained-glass church like backdrop evinces a reference to southern gospel culture. There is fascinating footage of jellyfish taken from below. The camera gazes up towards the light through a maze of stinging tentacles. Does this mirror the artists yearning to reach the light and air of public recognition and his awareness of the stinging barbs of criticism that he must undergo to achieve it? Most interesting perhaps, is the placement of the female performer on a textured backdrop with no clear reference to any real world environment. Is this a critique of the objectification of women, a satirical jibe upon woman as no more than a sexual object, A texture to be enjoyed?
Perhaps the question is the point.