'Mealing' by Martí Guixé at Performa 09 [food art]

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Photograph courtesy Constantin Boym.

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Futurist Manifesto, last Friday Martí Guixé introduced his food "meal-in-motion"/installation titled "Mealing" as part of Performa 09 in New York City. After being given the rules for this "relational banquet," guests received ceramic cups with edible "microsnacks" and printed action statements intending to prompt strangers to interact. Throughout the installation, silent performers made gestures, mimicking flight attendants.

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Photographs: Esa Nickle, Courtesy of Performa

The cups, randomly distributed, contained four different concoctions: hazelnut coffee, green tea, and vodka; a traditional Negroni; aloe vera juice and gin; and aloe vera juice and tonic. The fourteen microsnacks were adhered to the cup — which included dried mango, dried pineapple, roasted almond, roasted chickpea, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, bee pollen, cacao bean, dried chipotle pepper, goji berry, dried zucchini, brazil nut, and Chinese yam — and printed on the mug was corresponding text with instructions such as “be familiar,” “taste,” and “act unexpectedly.” Guixé instructed, "If you do not like one of the snacks, just drop it on floor, or share it with someone else." Laurene Boym, one of the participants, tweeted: “Nice take home proto-slurpee cup. Big gulp never romanticized like this ... ”

The raw cacao bean resting on the tip of the cup read, “Eat at the end,” serving as Guixé’s vision of the conclusion of a meal of the future: Dessert in its purest form. "Mealing" included "many of the elements that are part of the Futurists riff on food — social engineering, unconventional ingredients, poetry and action… presenting [food-related projects] in the context of contemporary art as a creative discipline has been a great success,” said curator Esa Nickle.

Elizabeth Jones

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