The artist becomes a Tiger or rather a hybrid half way between Tiger and human, the costume and prosthesis are made to reveal the state of partial transformation. The discomfort resulting from the transformation for the artist and the anxiety this can produce in the audience are effects that intrigue us. The experience of reading Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis as a teenager and the particular feeling of angst it produced is recalled by the artist. Samsa’s overnight transformation in to an insect hybrid pricks at shared fears about loosing control of our bodies and becoming physically dependent and therefore vulnerable to exploitation.
Reif’s Tiger is tied to a feeding device connected to pipes down which food flows. This depiction of dependency and the artist’s submission to the scenario triggers a feeling of angst, the disruption of oral fixation and the suggestion of forced feeding are deeply rooted in the psyche to cause feelings of repulsion and disgust. It is also disturbing to see a Tiger, naturally an apex predator and culturally a symbol of resistance and dominance being subjected this way.