First Supper

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Sweet Lights, (detail) Isomalt, Fishing Line, Glass Lighting Fixture © Courtesy of the artist & Josee Bienvenu Gallery
First Supper

529 West 20th St.
10011 New York
January 14th, 2010 - February 6th, 2010
Opening: January 14th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Sat 10-6


Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present First Supper an installation about the intimate power of the dinner table. Elaine Tin Nyo, a conceptual artist based in New York City invited 17 artists to collaborate around a 16 foot long table. Cook, photographer, and dancer, Tin Nyo makes art about public intimacies. Her works refer to intimate performative action (real or implied) be it the sharing of food and drink, ballroom dancing, or bathing.

In this exhibition there will be no food served at the table, just the potential of twelve meals, twelve friendships (new, existing, or rekindled), and the coming twelve months. The hostess/artist sets the table with artworks, the results of conversations with 17 artists: humor, insight and conspiracy.  Twelve "plates" and menus are the result of a collaboration with twelve artists who are the subjects of the menus. Each of these twelve menu-portraits is a score for a performance, a potential real meal that may be executed by Tin Nyo during the coming year at the house of who acquires the portrait-menu.  Other artwork-elements complete the setting: a tablecloth, napkins, goblets, conversation and lighting. First Supper is a gathering, a communion among artworks inspired by a series of tête-à-têtes.

First Supper invites you to think about how we share food: secrets are shared and new ideas are born when we sit down at a table together. If we sit down as strangers, we leave a bit less estranged. The food and drink, the conversation, and the setting all coax us to let down our guard. Along with the food, we share ourselves at supper.

Elaine Tin Nyo is a member of the artist group, dBfoundation, whose project, CAFÉ inhabited The Phillips Collection in Washington DC in 2009. On January 16, her project, Black Bania, a public sauna set in a tipi on a frozen lake in Minnesota, will open to the public for four weekends. Her photographs, recipes, videos, installations and performances have been presented by The Phillips Collection, BlindSpot, Deitch Projects, Thread Waxing Space, The New Museum, Creative Time, The Bronx Museum, The Neueberger Museum, Art in General, Chez Bushwick, and The French Culinary Institute.