The series depicts animals placed on a heap composed of the industrial product derived from them. The cow is immersed in a lake of pure white milk, the chicken sits on a mountain of eggs, the goat is sinking in ricotta, a thick woollen blanket has been placed under the sheep and the pig is lying on a stack of bacon. In the background, we can see wallpaper in comforting and domestic pastel colours, representing an oasis to turn to in order to find some serenity.
With its powerful sense of irony, the Industrial Portraits series conveys a very clear message whose greatest clarification comes from the artist’s decision to use plastic animals, inanimate toys that lose their playful side and become the leading figures in a sharp critique: figures that, in their obvious silence, scream and demand attention. In her pictures Federica Cogo turns the spotlight onto an unbalanced relationship, on the loss of values and sensitivity among humans, who exploit animals for personal needs, unconcerned with their dignity as living beings. What emerges here is a humanity that pays no attention to animals, which have merely become products to be exploited in order to satisfy the needs that people themselves have created and imposed on their world, a place in which there is no room for animals or other forms of life unless they can be used to produce something.