February 16 – June 10, 2012
Since the 1930s, numerous artists have used the simple act of sharing food and drink to advance aesthetic goals and to foster critical engagement with the culture of their moment. These artist-orchestrated meals can offer a radical form of hospitality that punctures everyday experience, using the meal as a means to shift perceptions and spark encounters that aren't always possible in a fast-moving and segmented society.
Feast surveys this practice for the first time, presenting the work of more than thirty artists and artist groups who have transformed the shared meal into a compelling artistic medium. The exhibition examines the history of the artist-orchestrated meal, assessing its roots in early-twentieth century European avant-garde art, its development over the past decades within Western art, and its current global ubiquity. Through a presentation within the Smart Museum and new commissions in public spaces, the exhibition will introduce new artists and contextualize their work in relation to other influential artists, from the Italian Futurists and Gordon Matta-Clark to Marina Abramović and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Feast addresses the radical hospitality embodied by these artists and the social, commercial, and political structures that surround the experience of eating together.
Join the feast and discover first hand the ways in which artists are using shared experiences with food and drink to spark new encounters with the world around us. As part of the exhibition, the Smart presents an array of participatory projects, meals, and salons that take place within the Smart Museum and throughout Chicago.
Highlights include The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest form of Art, ritual soul food dinners, the roving Iraqi cuisine Enemy Kitchen food truck, and a series of one-on-one meals with artist Lee Mingwei, held after hours within a sculptural installation at the Smart.
What does hospitality mean to the artists involved in Feast? Exhibiting artists Marina Abramović, Theaster Gates, Alison Knowles, Michael Rakowitz, and others talk about the inspirations and ideas behind their projects in a series of videos.
Browse all the videos below. They're also available on iPads in the exhibition itself.
Feast includes art, documentary materials, and new public projects by Marina Abramović and Ulay, Sonja Alhäuser, Mary Ellen Carroll, Fallen Fruit, Theaster Gates, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, InCUBATE, The Italian Futurists, Mella Jaarsma, Alison Knowles, Suzanne Lacy, Lee Mingwei, Laura Letinsky, Tom Marioni, Gordon Matta-Clark, Mildred's Lane, Julio César Morales and Max La Rivière-Hedrick, motiroti, National Bitter Melon Council, Ana Prvacki, Sudsiri Pui-Ock, Michael Rakowitz, Ayman Ramadan, Red76, David Robbins, Allen Ruppersberg, Bonnie Sherk, Barbara T. Smith, Daniel Spoerri, and Rirkrit Tiravanija.
Possible additional venues to be announced.
Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston
August 31, 2013–January 5, 2014
SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico
February 1–May 17, 2014
Gund Gallery, Kenyon College
July 25–November 30, 2014
Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota
January 31–May 10, 2015
Stephanie Smith, Smart Museum Deputy Director and Chief Curator.
Feast is made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. Generous major support has also been provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Chicago Community Trust, Helen Zell, the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Richard and Mary L. Gray Foundation, the University of Chicago's Arts Council, and Janis Kanter and Tom McCormick.
Presented in the Richard and Mary L. Gray Gallery, the Robert and Joan Feitler Gallery, and the Joel and Carole Bernstein Gallery.