May 4 and 5, 2012
“Let us say yes to who or what turns up…” — Jacques Derrida, "Of Hospitality"
Using the Smart Museum’s exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art and Jacques Derrida’s text “Of Hospitality” as points of departure, the symposium included presentations, discussions, artists’ projects, shared meals, and a keynote address by critic and theorist Jan Verwoert.
Watch Jan Verwoert's keynote lecture above or browse videos of all the presentations and performances.
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, University of Illinois at Chicago
800 S. Halsted Street
The symposium opens with a dinner and discussion organized in collaboration with chef Tara Lane and the historic Hull-House Museum. Join us for an intimate conversation served up with brown-buttered oysters in Jane Addams’s bedroom and other Hull-House spaces where important social reformers met to share meals and ideas.
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, The University of Chicago
915 E. 60th Street
What does it / could it mean to practice “hospitality” within the realm of art and culture? How might cultural institutions enact hospitality as a creative, ethically grounded, meaningful activity—one that gets beyond the rote pragmatism of the paid greeter who asks “how can I help you” but really means “what can I sell you”? What’s at stake when cultural practitioners and/or institutions embrace hospitality as a theoretical framework or a day-to-day activity? What stands to be gained, and what might be lost?
Dig into these questions during a full day of discussion, presentations, performances, and meals, including Radical Hospitality One Pot at A Time, a dinner reception created by Soup and Bread Chicago.
The Greeting Committee
As part of Ana Prvacki’s ongoing participatory artwork, enjoy a spoonful of slatko, a sweet strawberry preserve that is served to guests in Serbia as a traditional gesture of welcome. The slatko calls attention to the roles of host and guest and will be ceremoniously served to visitors as they arrive at the symposium.
Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Smart Museum of Art
Reflections on hospitality, criticality, and the meal as they intersect with the idea of the domestic.
Hannah B. Higgins
University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Chicago
Amy M. Mooney
Columbia College, Chicago
Response by University of Chicago MFA student Anais Daly
World premiere of The Identical Lunch Symphony
Building on her classic 1960s Fluxus scores, Allison Knowles will conduct performers who will use blenders to mix the components of her habitual lunch—a tuna fish sandwich with butter and lettuce, no mayo, and a cup of soup or glass of buttermilk—which then will be served to the audience. This is the world premiere of the performance.
11:30 am–1 pm
Food Truck-o-Rama & Smart Museum excursions (aka Lunch)
Take a short trip to the Smart Museum to view Feast. Shuttles will depart from the Logan Center’s north entrance and operate on a continuous loop, making a final trip from the Smart at 1 pm.
You are also welcome to purchase lunch from one (or all) of the food trucks parked outside the Logan. Blurring the line between culinary experience and participatory art project are:
Enemy Kitchen (Food Truck)
In collaboration with chefs from Chicago’s Iraqi community, Michael Rakowitz launched a new mobile iteration of his ongoing Enemy Kitchen project. The truck serves Iraqi cuisine with U.S. veterans acting as servers and sous-chefs. The food will be served on limited-edition, paper reproductions of china found in Saddam Hussein’s palaces.
“E-Dogz” Mobile Culinary Community Center
E-Dogz is a collaborative mobile kitchen project that is a platform for the cross-pollinating of foodways. Through collaborative cooking practices, Eric “E-Dog” May develops recipes with guest chefs that reflect the contemporary food landscape while promoting evolving cultural expressions. The guest chefs that work with E-Dogz range from professionals to home cooks and from artists to scientists with whom Eric has struck a dialog with in his continual food-obsessed travels and research.
Questioning the line between hospitality and hostility. When is it useful to be a “bad” host or guest?
Matthew Jesse Jackson
The University of Chicago
Responses by Dieter Roelstraete, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and University of Chicago MFA student David Giordano
Manifestos and discussion about if, why, and how hospitality matters within our work.
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar, Chicago
Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
InCUBATE and threewalls, Chicago
Discussion facilitated by Michael Christiano, Smart Museum of Art
Keynote lecture: To All Those Who Set the Stage
Critic and theorist
With responses by Zachary Cahill of the Open Practice Committee, and University of Chicago MFA student Cassandra Troyan
Anthony Huberman of The Artist’s Institute in New York, will give a toast.
Fallen Fruit, Neighborhood Infusions
In Feast, the artist collective Fallen Fruit explores the essence of place through a display of vodkas infused with fruit gathered in Los Angeles neighborhoods. The artists will share their reflections on the project before engaging the audience in a series of activities culminating in an act of shared consumption.
Soup & Bread: Radical Hospitality One Pot at a Time
Soup & Bread is a free weekly soup dinner founded by Martha Bayne at the Hideout, a bar and music venue in Chicago. Each week over the winter months a handful of chefs, caterers, musicians, writers, artists, and home cooks of every persuasion donate pots of homemade soup. Over dinner we pass a crockpot asking for at-will contributions to benefit a local hunger relief organization, lift our spoons, and share a meal.
Soup & Bread is presented in collaboration with the Chicago Studies Program of the University Community Service Center.
Music at the symposium will be performed by Ice Verld, featuring David Giordano, Eric Watts, and Nick Bastis.
Monday, May 7, 12–1:30 pm
Start a Chicago Chapter of the National Bitter Melon Council
Hosted at threewalls, 119 N Peoria #2C
Join Andi Sutton and Jeremy Liu of the National Bitter Melon Council to celebrate the NBMC's newly published book: Better Living through Bitter Melon: A Manual, a publication of project and food recipes, essays, and other activities that instruct the uses and applications of Bitter Melon in creative and community building contexts. Introducing ways of using the Manual to create bitterness-based community programming and apply Bitter Melonism to one's life and work, participants will discuss its relevance and application to the context of Chicago.
Free. RSVP to the NBMC at email@example.com.
Sunday, May 6, 6–9 pm
Roots and Culture, 1034 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Initiated by InCUBATE and documented in Feast, Sunday Soup returns to Chicago! The quarterly meals—organized by InCUBATE, Roots & Culture, and others in the Chicago art community—generate funds for artist initiatives and community projects.
$15, tickets are available at sundaysoupchicago.org.
Tuesday, May 8, 7–9 pm
threewalls, 119 N Peoria #2C
Examine ways that innovative agricultural and culinary projects assert new understandings of spaces, ideals, tools, and relationships during the salon Rooted: Food and Farming Initiatives as Regional Artwork.
Of Hospitality is presented by the Smart Museum of Art in collaboration with the University of Chicago’s Open Practice Committee in the Department of Visual Arts, the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.
Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art 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.
The Sahmat Collective
February 14–June 9, 2013
Explore art and activism in the world's most populous democracy, India.
The Smart's biennial report is now available online. The Bulletin details the Museum's exhibitions, programs, acquisitions, and generous supporters over the last two years.