February 10, 2012 - Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago - Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art
February 10, 2012

Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art

Mella Jaarsma, “I Eat You Eat Me,” 2002.
Photographic documentation of a performance in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art
February 16–June 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 7:30–9 pm

5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637


From the 1930 “Manifesto of Futurist Cooking” to a new food truck serving Iraqi cuisine on the streets of Chicago, the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art surveys the history of the artist-orchestrated meal in the exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art. Through a presentation within the Smart and new commissions in public spaces, the exhibition serves up the work of more than thirty artists and artists groups who have transformed the simple act of sharing food and drink with others into a radical form of hospitality that punctures everyday experience.

Feast, the first exhibition of its kind, surveys the emergence 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. 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. It also will present new and restaged projects that will allow the public to experience first hand the ways in which artists are using the meal as a catalyst for artistic expression.

Feast opens with a public reception on Wednesday, February 15, from 7:30–9 pm. The evening features beer and conversation with conceptual artist Tom Marioni, a performance by Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, and the debut of Michael Rakowitz’s Enemy Kitchen (Food Truck), which will be parked outside the Smart Museum serving regional Iraqi cuisine on limited edition paper replicas of Saddam Hussein’s china.

Feast includes art, documentary materials, and new public projects by a multigenerational roster of artists: 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 Rivère-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, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and others.

Stephanie Smith, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Smart Museum of Art

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.

Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago
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