The disease-avoidance emotion of disgust is a predominant emotion experienced in a number of psychopathologies. It is related to various phobias such as blood–injection–injury phobia, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and contamination fears which imply that disgust is a biologically evolved emotion. However, other research suggests that disgust evolved culturally, similar to fire and penicillin, which also help us avoid pathogens but clearly lack a biological origin.
Lymph, a work created specifically in response to the theme of the STATE Festival 2016, addresses the nature-culture dichotomy within the broader context and field of affective sciences. Often employing biological processes in her artistic work, and investigating decay and transformation as a common destiny of human and non-human matter, Margherita Pevere used blood meal (“Blutmehl”) to create an installation that evolves during the period of the festival days - not only tackling issues related to policies and origins of disgust and fear of contamination, but also broader reflections about food, waste, the European economy or our environmental crisis.