The Lamb and the Slaughter | Jess Taylor
The hero’s tale is a tale of inevitability. Through this narrative arc, the viewer knows with surety that the hero will triumph, no matter how dire the situation nor high the stakes. and while it is easy to see ourselves as the heroes of our own stories, to see our triumph as written in the stars, we must contend with the possibility that we are villains in the stories of others, that their journey to victory is dependent on ours to the gallows. The hero's victory is but one side of a coin, incomplete without the vanquishing of monsters or the downfall of the antagonist. To be human is to fall on both sides, to recognise that some stories must advance without us, that we might not be there in the epilogue of every person we love.
These works actualise the victories and defeats I see on the horizon, the stories that will continue because of me and those that will without me, effigies that allow me to taste these moments before I meet them. Like the catharsis of horror and tragedy, such works force us to season the muscles we’ll need one day in order to weather the losses that life demands of us all. Wrapped in the language of myth and allegory, they invite the viewer to consider their own narrative arc, to prepare for the trials to come.