As Margaret Charidet, better known as the experimental noise act Pharmakon, told us last month, surgery to remove a collapsed organ is the main inspiration behind her intense new album, Bestial Burden. The LP cover features a torn-open body, and now Chardiet is continuing with that visual theme in an unsettling new short film that shares its name with the record.
Debuting on Pitchfork.TV and directed by Chardiet and Nina Hartmann, “Bestial Burden” begins with a body covered in paper and meat being torn apart in several sets of hands. It then cuts to footage of a Pharmakon show in Rhode Island, where Chardiet creates a cutting noise collage, howls while she walks and crawls through the crowd, and beats the microphone on her chest to create metallic-sounding heartbeats. In between the smoky footage are shots of people sitting around a wood fire, burning the organs they removed from her body in the beginning.
“The actions aim to break through barriers of live and recorded performance, into the immediate reality,” she told Pitchfork of the 16-minute film. “The video extends the music and aesthetics of the album into their visceral forms, and serves as the bodily/visual pairing to coincide with the record, Bestial Burden.”
Watch it below if you can stomach the sight of internal organs being ripped out of a body and cooked.