In PIG, Boshoff turns his attention away from the political towards lexicon and religion. This piece illustrates his ambivalence towards the written word, and in particular the scriptures.
The work consists of a massive sheet of handmade milkweed paper, into which Hebrew, Arabic and English texts have been interwoven. The words have been torn from the Torah, the Qu’ran and the Old Testament, all of which prohibit human beings from eating the flesh of swine. P-I-G is scrawled untidily across the page in human hair, chosen on account of the genetic similarity between pigs and people.
Pigs have been much maligned in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, to the point where it is considered a grave insult to call somebody a pig. In this piece, Boshoff considers the negative associations that have been forced on these animals through the writings of these religions. Here he references Leonard Shlain’s book, The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, which asserts that unclean animals were considered noble in pre-alphabetic societies. With the advent of the Abrahamic religions, these animals were branded as ‘dirty’, and their degraded status was eternalised by being embedded in scripture