This chapter examines the theme of crucifixion or the reduction of flesh to meat in Francis Bacon's work. It reflects on his depiction of the male body and the alluring beauty of its vulnerability and collapse. It traces the relation between the violence of crucifixion and the violation of representation in his paintings to explore the inherent vulnerability of the male body on display. Meat has something to teach humankind, but as Bataille's comments emphasize, society works very hard to sequester the slaughterhouse and suppress its lessons. Bacon's painterly corpus can be understood as an attempt to make meat speak again—even in the form of a choked, strained, guttural scream.
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