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The Blaffer Art Museum

Exhibition Detail
Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art
University of Houston (120 Fine Arts Building)
4800 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77004


September 7th, 2013 - December 7th, 2013
Opening: 
September 6th, 2013 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Flying Feast, Sonja AlhäuserSonja Alhäuser, Flying Feast,
2012, Catering performance with butter sculptures, marzipan sculptures, various foods, miniature watercolors
© Courtesy of the artist & The Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago
, Gordon Matta-ClarkGordon Matta-Clark, 1971
© The Estate of Gordon Matta-Clark
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> DESCRIPTION

Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston is proud to host  Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Artfrom September 7 to December 7 ,2013, with a public opening and artists remarks on September 6, 2013 at 7:00pm. The exhibition defines an important new category of contemporary artistic practice – the artist-orchestrated meal. Feast surveys this practice for the first time, assessing its roots in early-twentieth century European avant-garde art, its development over the past five decades within Western art, and its current global ubiquity. Originally organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the presentation at Blaffer Art Museum has been expanded to include artist of relevance to the local context.

Feast in Houston features more than thirty artists and artist collectives through two interrelated components: a gallery presentation and participatory, performative projects. Feast includes art, documentary materials, and new public projects by Marina Abramović and Ulay, Sonja Alhäuser, Miguel Amat, Mary Ellen Carroll, Mary Evans, Fallen Fruit, Theaster Gates, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, InCUBATE, The Italian Futurists, Mella Jaarsma, Alison Knowles, Suzanne Lacy, Gabriel Martinez, Lynne McCabe, 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.

During the run of the exhibition, audience participation is invited through a series of performances including Ana Prvacki’s The Greeting Committee, Lee Mingwei’s The Dining Project, and Tom Marioni’s salon The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art. Mary Ellen Carroll will continue her ongoing project Itinerant Gastronomy with a project entitled, Ground Control,  . Los Angeles based Fallen Fruit, will hold Neighborhood Infusion and organize a Lemonade Stand at the museum. Minneapolis-based collective Red 76, will organize Occupy Yr. Home in which participants eat, drink, and discuss what it means to “occupy” the most private spaces of our own kitchen tables; and Theaster Gates will host a dinner and a public talk and performance with the Black Monks of Mississippi, an experimental music ensemble of Chicago-based vocalists and musicians founded in 2008.

As Feast’s hospitable host, Blaffer has added three artists to the exhibition in order to further accommodate the project in our Houston site. Gabriel Martinez invites visitors to join him on a series of taco excursions to sample the diverse offerings around the city, and Lynne McCabe presents her ongoing series titled Vexations exploring the gendered dynamics of durational performance and hospitality. In Mary Evans’s ongoing work Gingerbread, the Nigerian-born, London-based artist probes what can be radical about hospitality. Evans interrogates the history of slavery through food by inviting guests to consider ingredients with specific trans-Atlantic histories in her homemade cookies – molasses, sugar, and ginger.

Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art is organized by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago and 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 presentation of the exhibition at Blaffer Art Museum is made possible, in part, by The Cecil Amelia Blaffer von Furstenberg Endowment for Exhibitions and Programs, the Houston Endowment, Inc., the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, the Jo and Jim Furr Exhibition Endowment at Blaffer Art Museum, The George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, IKEA, KUHF-FM, Sallie Morian and Mike Clark, the Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Monthly, Uchi Restaurant and Whole Foods.  Community and campus partners include the Center for Public History, Conrad R. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the Council of Ethnic Organizations, the Student Program Board, and Urban Harvest. Educational outreach programs are made possible by Dorothy C. Sumner, the Kristin Saleri Art Foundation, Quantum Reservoir Impact and the Kinder Morgan Foundation.

Join the Feast

Artist-orchestrated meals and performances offer a radical form of hospitality that punctures everyday experience, using food as a means to spark novel encounters and experiences amongst its participants. These work sample images demonstrate thirteen original participatory projects to be realized onsite at Blaffer by leading contemporary artists and artist collaboratives, including three new commissions, which will engage the public with diverse and excellent art. The artists are: Sonja Alhäuser, Mary Ellen Carroll, Mary Evans, Fallen Fruit, Theaster Gates, Lee Mingwei, Tom Marioni, Gabriel Martinez, Lynne McCabe, Ana Prvacki, Michael Rakowitz, Red76, and David Robbins.

Participatory Feast projects

 

­­Artist-orchestrated meals and performances offer a radical form of hospitality that punctures everyday experience, using food as a means to spark novel encounters and experiences amongst its participants. These work sample images demonstrate thirteen original participatory projects to be realized onsite at Blaffer by leading contemporary artists and artist collaboratives, including three new commissions, which will engage the public with diverse and excellent art. The artists are: Sonja Alhäuser, Mary Ellen Carroll, Mary Evans, Fallen Fruit, Theaster Gates, Lee Mingwei, Tom Marioni, Gabriel Martinez, Lynne McCabe, Ana Prvacki, Michael Rakowitz, Red76, and David Robbins.

 

 All events take place at Blaffer Art Museum and are open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

 

 

Tom Marioni The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art

 

September 6,6:00-9:00pm

 

Blaffer Art Museum
Held regularly since 1970, Marioni’s famous beer salon will be held in a bar-like installation in Blaffer’s galleries. The Art Guys will kick off the series as celebrity bartenders for opening night; future guest bartenders include Toby Kamps, Curator of Modern and Contemporary art at the Menil Collection (November 7, 5:00-8:00pm) and Claudia Schmuckli, Director and Chief Curator, Blaffer Art Museum (October 3, 5:00-8:00pm). Drop-in for 21+

 

 

Gabriel Martinez Untitled (territory)

 

September 14, October 19, and November 16, 12:00pm

 

Meet at Blaffer Art Museum

 

Join the artist on a 2-hour trip to Houston’s ethnically diverse taquerias, enjoy a taco or two, and participate in discussion about the city’s complex history of urban planning.  Attendees will meet at Blaffer Art Museum and depart with the artist, space is limited. Sign up at the front desk in person or by calling 713.743.9521.

 

 

Lynne McCabe Vexations in the Kitchen

 

September 21, October 26, and November 23, 12:30pm

 

Blaffer Art Museum

 

Watch a live broadcast of Vexations in the Kitchen, a work exploring the gendered dynamics of durational performance and hospitality when performed over years and subsumed into the rhythms of the domestic everyday. On view at the museum, the live broadcast can also be viewed online at http://www.justin.tv/vexationsinthekitchen

 

 

Lee Mingwei The Dining Project

 

October 22, 23, and 24, 7:00pm

 

Blaffer Art Museum
Three guests will be chosen by lottery to join Lee for an intimate one-on-one, after-hours dinner prepared by the artist and held within his sculptural installation in the galleries. This will be the first time that The Dining Project—first presented in 1997—has been staged in Houston. Individuals can enter the lottery at blafferartmuseum.org or by contacting the front desk in-person or by telephone at 713.743.9521.

 

 

Fallen Fruit Neighborhood Infusions
September 26, 5:00-7:00pm

 

Blaffer Art Museum

 

Fallen Fruit explores the essence of place through a display of vodkas infused with fruit gathered in Los Angeles. During this Thursday evening happy hour, Fallen Fruit members David Burns and Austin Young will serve vodka while participants share stories about their own neighborhoods.

 

Fallen Fruit Lemonade Stand

 

September 28, 12:00-3:00pm

 

Blaffer Art Museum

 

Join members of Los Angeles-based art collaborative Fallen Fruit for Lemonade Stand on the sidewalk in front of Blaffer Art Museum. In exchange for a cold glass of lemonade, participants will be asked to create self-portraits using black ink markers on lemons and to share stories of sadness and disappointment, or happiness and positive self-reflection. 

 

 

David Robbins Ice Cream Social

 

October 26, 1:00–4:00pm

 

Blaffer Art Museum

 

Visitors are invited to sample ice cream and cake before heading into the galleries for a look at Feast. This afternoon party features special cakes designed by Robbins that update and celebrate the American tradition of the ice cream social. Guests are invited to come anytime between 1:00-4:00pm.

 

 

InCUBATE and Alabama Song Sunday Soup

 

November 17, 7:00–9:00pm

 

Alabama Song, 2521 Oakdale St, Houston, TX 77004

 

Initiated by InCUBATE and documented in Feast, Sunday Soup returns to Houston to generate funds for artist initiatives and community projects. $15, tickets are available at sundaysoupchicago.org.

 

 

Theaster Gates Soul Food Dinner

 

December 5, 7:00pm

 

Project Row Houses, 2521 Holman St.

 

Selected guests and members of the public will join the artist for a dinner featuring performances and discussions around issues of food, race, labor, and hospitality. The menu will be planned with a Houston chef. Space is limited to 20 guests, chosen in part by lottery. Individuals can enter the lottery at blafferartmuseum.org or by contacting the front desk in-person or by telephone at 713.743.9521.

 

 

Theaster Gates with the Black Monks of Mississippi

 

December 6, 6.30-8:30pm

 

The Eldorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin St. (corner of Dowling)

 

Performance by Theaster Gates and the Black Monks of Mississippi, an experimental music ensemble of Chicago-based vocalists and musicians founded in 2008. Directed by Gates, the music is influenced by diverse traditions, including Gospel, Blues and Buddhist and Zen chants. Free and open to all.

 

 

Ongoing at Blaffer Art Museum

 

 

Mella Jaarsma I Eat You Eat Me
Stage your own meal-performance using Jaarsma’s lightweight sculpture, which is worn by two people to create a mutually supported table surface between them.
Available for check-out in the Blaffer lounge.

 

 

Ana Prvacki The Greeting Committee
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 enter the Smart a few times each week.
Served periodically in the Blaffer lobby.

 

 

 

Ongoing nationwide

 

Red76: Occupy Yr. Home
The collective Red76 is organizing a series of gatherings across the country to eat, drink, and discuss what it means to Occupy. Host your own dinner, document it, and share it with Red76.


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