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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, January 23

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Museums Fri Mar 02 2012

Join the Feast, Witness Radical Hospitality in Action

I've had several run-ins with food-related arts events of late.

There was "The Dinner Party" on Jan. 30--a monthly, streamed-live meal/performance featuring artists Tony Fitzpatrick, Jon Langford, and Rachel Rockford, as well as chef Homaru Cantu of Moto (see for more). Coming soon, "Food & Performance", a two day installation of interactive, edible performances, will be held at Defibrillator March 17 and 18.

And, I forgot to mention all of the odd salons/underground dinners/etc. that seem to be sprouting up around the city faster than I can say grace.

Where does our fascination with the intersection between art and food come from?

The Smart Museum's newest exhibit, Feast, sets out to chart our obsession with food, drink, meal-sharing, and art in a new, interactive series of installations and events in Hyde Park. It not only chronicles the history of the "artist-orchestrated meal", but also brings that history to a more contemporary table in which audience is asked to assess, participate, and celebrate in its meaning.

Artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and those belonging to the Italian Futurists are paired next to a large array of contemporary artists like Lee Mingwei, Laura Letinsky, Theaster Gates, as well as arts organizations including London-based motiroti and the National Bitter Melon Council.

Audience members will have a chance to dine with Lee Mingwei in his sculptural installation The Dining Project or with Theaster Gates in his home through a series of meals called Soul Food Dinners. Both these events determine their guest lists via lottery here (right, upper side of the page).

Other ongoing projects include Tom Marioni's The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art. Guests will have a chance to drink beer alongside various different art groups, including the Neo-Futurists and Chicago hip-hop group BBU, in the Smart's galleries.

Guests can also re-enact Mella Jaarsma's I Eat You Eat Me in the Smart's cafe using a yolk-like sculptural device. And, keep your eyes peeled for Enemy Kitchen's food-truck. It will be driving around the streets of Chicago dishing out traditional Iraqi treats prepared by American veterans of the Iraq War and served on paper reproductions of Saddam Hussein's china.

Feast even takes its exhibit abroad with Suzanne Lacy's International Dinner Party, inviting audiences everywhere to prepare a dinner party at home to honor the anniversary of the project's launch March 14.

Suzanne Lacy: International Dinner Party from Smart Museum of Art on Vimeo.

There is so much going on with this exhibit, words can't possibly do it justice. See it yourself in person at the Smart--it is up now until June 10. The museum has very flexible hours and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Check out their list of events before stopping by.

And, be sure to wrap your eyes around their delectable blog for behind-the-scenes interviews, videos, and more.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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