Emily Jones, The Muddy Choir / Installation view at Veda, Florence, IT, 2024. Courtesy the artist and Veda / Photo Flavio Pescatori
Emily Jones: The Muddy Choir
Feb 23 – Apr 27, 2024
Florence, Italy

A deer standing up in the middle of the space, staring into your eyes. That moment of connection, panic, suspense, surprise when you meet a deer walking somewhere. There’s something similar in the feeling when you step out of the lift at Sky Tower in London and see the Shard standing there. So ridiculously tall and alone. I imagine it to periodically rain into this space. The deer’s antlers are shedding, the eyes are glass, the head is made of needle felt.

The body is an armor: hours of time spent making this frame to hold the skin in place. There is something coarse and ragged about the body, so much so that it is best to look away from it. It accurately occupies the space of a deer’s body, but lacks the weight, the musculature.

Attached to one of the deer’s back legs is a trap. It is easy to enter the trap, but the reverse is not true. The rope between the deer’s leg and the trap is taught, pulled with tension as if the deer is dragging it, it just happens to be there. Inside there are large wooden spheres painted with cute kawaii eyes. Eyes with hearts and stars reflected in them, eyes with flames of fire.

An infographic that I saw recently about resources taken up by humans and then human pets and then the tiny tiny proportion of ‘wildlife’ and the ‘resources’ that we ‘give’ to this wildlife. You can buy cute soft toys that are already animals but that are dressed up as other animals. I saw beer for dogs in a supermarket. I saw a cafe with an entire menu for dogs. What is a Starbucks Puppaccino?

Camping in Wales in the summer we met a man flying a drone and wearing an Oculus Rift, his child standing immobile at his side. I felt very angry and said something to him about birds. He said the birds like it.

Foxes have started living on roofs now. One of them stole a pair of boots on our street and a man with a flashlight is going around searching for the boots but then he tells us that actually he found the boots and he’s looking for a glove. He has one of the gloves. Another neighbour says to put a photo of the glove on the street whatsapp group to see if anyone will find the other one. Someone has been seen with a drone. They are searching for foxes on the roofs. “but not in a nice way” they want to poison them.

What place will you leave them? How to make a room not echo?

Inserted in the frame of those big doors is a handmade wooden gate. Stable-door. There’s a latch to get in. A hanging basket of flowers. A slate sign which reads THE MUDDY CHOIR.

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