Introduction As an up and coming artist, I havealways been interested in the sociability and food in the art world.
This hasstemmed from a love of cooking from a young age and how food has always broughtpeople together whether it be cooking a meal or just some baked desserts. Duringthe 1990s bringing people together to eat soon started to be considered an artform and because of this more artists realised that they could use food as anartistic medium. It became known as relational aesthetics. The purpose ofrelational aesthetics is to break the traditional aspects of art by taking itout of the gallery space and creating a social experiment in its place. The artthat is created with Relational Aesthetics in mind is focused on life, socialexchanged and audience’s involvement. Nicolas Bourriaud defined it as “a set of artistic practices which take astheir theoretical and practical point of departure the whole of human relationsand their social context, rather than an independent and private spaces.” (Bourriaud, 1998, pg. 113).
RelationalAesthetics can be classed as unorthodox in the art world but so was the AvantGarde movement, at its time the Avant grades were coming up with more creativeand innovating ways to make art, relational aesthetics seems to reinvent theAvant Garde and steps a little more out of the boundaries that the art societyis usually comfortable with by making those who normally go to galleries theart itself, more of a performance and a way to make people see and experienceart in a new way. There is also a culinary subcategory that has started gainingpopularity. The artist would instead prepare and serve food, making the mealthe artistic medium and the social experience would be the conversations hadwith other spectators.
However not everyone sees that a conversation hadstanding in front of let’s say a painting can be classed as a socialexperience, some artists believed that there needed to more of a humanconnection and I will be looking a specific works that some of these artistshave created, such examples, will include the Do it! Project which looks in howart can be more of a social concept, Felix Gonzales Torres (untitled) Portraitof Ross Laycock, which was compiled of a pile of sweets with which viewerscould take. Jeremy Deller’s recreation of Valerie’s café from Bury market,Rirkrit Tiravanija and his Thai curry exhibition where people sit and talkwhile eating and finally, I shall be looking at the Grizedale arts, colosseumof the consumed. Considering that these artists havealso either done sociability or food related projects or combining both foodand sociability together has made my dream of wanting to open a bakery comemore into focus. This bakery would be very creative in the way that it isdesigned and if it became popular I would make sure that each store would havea different theme and I would like it to be a place people would be able tohave conversations with either people that they know or even strangers, alsobeing that local artists can place their works as either an exhibition or as aplace to be displayed until sold. This was inspired by Rirkrit Tiravanija withhis exhibition of Thai curry where the people who came to the exhibition werethe piece of art work. Do it! ProjectThe Do it! Project, was created byHans Ulrich Obrist. During 1993 Obrist and fellow artists, Christian Boltanskiand Bertrand Lavier where visiting Paris, in a discussion they all sharedsimilar concerns with how the exhibitions could be made to be more flexible andopen-ended (http://curatorsintl.org/special-projects/do-it).
This conversationsoon led to the question of could a show take ‘scores’ or written instructionsby an artist and then enacted by anyone who would want to take on theseguidelines of a piece of work. Getting in touch with 12 different artists,Obrist asked them to send him a list of instructions for a piece of artworkthat someone else could make, putting all of these Instructions Obrist hadgathered into a book, translating the book into 9 different languages and thenpublishing the book in countries that the languages originated from. Thus, wasthe beginning of the Do it! Project.
However, the idea of the Do it! Projectcan be linked back to the Fluxus movement, as they both have some similar ideasof how to socialise art. During 1960, George Maciunas hadfounded the Fluxus movement which would become one of many influences on theart world into making sociability a form of art. Even though the Fluxusmovement is still known today it was also rather short-lived “is Fluxus an art movement? Is Fluxus beyondall categorisation” (http://www.tate.
org.uk) Fluxus got its inspirationfrom other movements such as DaDa, Avant Garde and the composer John cage. TheFluxus movement contained all different forms of making art however one of themain ideals and how the movement first started would be performance. What somewould consider games, in fact were really instructions given out by artists tothen be recreated by another person, each time someone takes on one of the projectsit be will unique every time due to only having yourself to guide you throughthe process.
“Fluxus should become a way of life not a profession”; “Fluxus peoplemust obtain their ‘art’ experience from everyday experiences, eating, working,etc.” Maciunas wanted theFluxus movement to be a way of life and not just art. Art should be experiencedin everything that a person does, ideas should be sparked or inspired by lifein general and not just to be viewed in a typical gallery situation where the visitorswalk around, discuss the art work and only really experiencing the art withonly one out of six senses.
Art should be fun and free, people should be ableto view art and experience it in every way possible. Maciunas stated that therewas too much high art and that was the reason they started doing Fluxus(Maciunas, 1978).The commonality that links the Fluxusmovement and Obrist’s Do it! Project together is that they both want theartists to involve the viewer into the art piece itself. As a curator HansUlrich Obrist was always concerned with how spectators viewed a piece of art.
Itis Obrist’s job to place artworks together that work well and complement eachother, this as Bruce Altshuler called it “therise of curator as creator” (Obrist, 1994, pg. 8) making it so Obrist evenas a curator is technically a creator of sociability, as to be a curator youmust create to please the viewers. However, this was still Obrist guiding theviewers through the works of art and he was troubled with how it didn’t givethe viewer a complete experience of the works. “How can one be fully with art? In other words, can art be experienceddirectly in a society that has produced so much discourse and built so manystructures to guide the spectator?” (Obrist, 2017, pg.
4.) To realise howObrist has done this I decided to take on some of the Do it! Project instructionsand photographing the outcomes and discussing what it was like to do completethese tasks that other artists around the world have given. Choosing only a couple to complete, each beingtotally different to the other, hoping to be able to get a full experience ofwhat the Do it! Project is like. 1. “RAQS Media Collective The Robin Hood of Wisdom (2012) Go to your nearest public libraryWhat does the knowledge taste like?The unsalted white of an egg.It asks for the garnish of betrayal.PREPARE yourself. Before setting off.
Select a passage from abook that is dear to you.Write or paint it. With elegance, flair andaffection on a quality piece of paper. The question remains: How to share that fullness of hunger thatforeboding and foresight. Select a book at random, from the libraryshelves.(Make sure that it is about somethingcompletely unrelated to the contents of the passage you have selected) You may choose to write or print a passagefrom a story in the Arabian Nights (Madrus and Mathers)and the book in your hand could be A Treatiseon Heat (Saha and Srivastava). Or vise versa. INSERT the paper bearing your passage, between the pages of thisbook.
REPLACE the book in its place on the shelf,carefully REPEAT the procedure as often as possibleINFECT knowledge with wisdom” Books are something that I love andcan create a whole new world inside of your mind so being able to share one ofmy favourite quotes by writing it down on a piece of paper and placing itinside random books in a library. For my quote I chose “There is only one god, and his name is Death. And there is only onethin we say to death: ‘not today'” (RR Martin) I chose this quote as deathis something that everyone worries about even though it is inevitable in theend. This set of instructions is one that I think I’m going to carry on with byselecting a quote that resonates with me and share it with others, by placingthe quote inside a book it is a quick and simple way to spread the words thatyou choose and maybe if someone else picks out one of the books I placed aquote it and it maybe helps spread a bit of joy or helps someone in any otherway. This became my favourite Do it! that I have come across so far as its likespreading a part of yourself to other people. 2. “Sehgal, Tino You are already doing all of it (2002) You are already doing all of it” (http://doit2013.
org/downloads/doit_compendium_no_folio.pdf) I chose this one due to the fact itmakes you think. First, it doesn’t feel like having anything to do, due to it saying,”you are already doing all of it” (Sehgal,2002) I started questioning my actions throughout the day, wonderingwhether it was having my day already planned out but that wouldn’t already bedoing it. Thinking on it a little more, I took to interpret it as if you areliving, doing all your everyday chores and routines is already doing it. Maybeit was all the things I was doing in the day that was the piece of art.
Involving a few other people and giving them the instructions. After discussingit for a while we all came to the same conclusion in the end, for thisparticular task it would be down to each individual person’s owninterpretations, while for myself it was as if to make my everyday life,everything that is going to be done in that particular day will become piece ofart by living. However, others may feel as if say just waking up in themorning, or let’s say going shopping or having a meal, that that is them doingit already and that the task is complete but what if it never is, due to theopenness of the of the wording this could be a piece of work someone wouldpossibly work on for days, weeks or even years if they wished too, for myself Itook a round 3 days to come to my conclusion. Anyway, either way whatever youare doing, you’re already doing it. 3. “REYES, Pedro Compatibility test for couple (2001) Ingredients 1 table 1 blender Large, milkshake glassesCutting board Large basket with as many kinds of fruit orvegetables as possible Instructions 1) Select the fruit or vegetable that youidentify with the most 2) Select the fruit or vegetable that is moresimilar to your partner 3) Mix a shake with it, and judge by its flavourthe compatibility with your partner.” (http://doit2013.org/downloads/doit_compendium_no_folio.
pdf)The final Do it! Instruction that Itook on was by Pedro Reyes, I thought it would be quite amusing one to do,seeing as its testing your compatibility out with someone who is close to youin either a romantic or platonic way, however I decided to do it with a closefriend, so I chose a friend from college. Picking a fruit or vegetable that Icould try and identify as was quite tricky, it’s like trying to imagine yourselfas a fruit or vegetable and how certain aspects of your personality can bepassed over. Choosing a fruit or vegetable that I identify most with was differentit was trying to figure out what I would be if I was a fruit, in the end I wentwith mango, for my friend I chose lime. After blending the fruit and both of ustrying it, the outcome was refreshingly sweet. After trying the mango and limesmoothie concoction we realise that even though they are fruits that both ofdon’t really like it was a nice mix together, meaning that our friendship to usanyway is quite compatible.
Getting a few other people to try the smoothie,there was a lot of mixed reviews on it, not everyone thought the fruits mixedwell together, maybe that has a deeper connection to other people’s thoughts onour friendship. After completing a few of the Do it!Project challenges it made me realise that there is a lot of thought that goesinto these instructions and some of them if anyone is going to take them onthey need to be able to set aside a lot of time to be able to create them. Evenjust going through the Do it! Compendium took up a lot of time and being ableto choose just a couple of the instructions was difficult due to there being somany to pick from, however it can be difficult to create something that wasn’tyour idea, having to interpret the something that isn’t your own can be difficult to do, there’sa lot to consider when doing some of them, like materials, skill and , howeverthis is taking the art out of the gallery space, out of the artist hand andturning the viewer into the artist instead. This is what makes it such amonumental project and something that will be able to be continued andinterpreted in many ways.
Just like joseph Beuys stated everyone is an artist (http://www.tate.org.uk),it doesn’t matter if you come from an artistic background everyone can make artand that is one of the main aspect of the Do it! Project, showing that everyonein their own way is an artist. Artist who workwith food RirkritTiravanija For Relational Aesthetics RirkritTiravanija became one of the most influential contemporary artists. Tiravanija’sunique way to get the audience more involved in the art that they were viewing,he would insist that the viewer must be physically present in a certainsituation and at a specific time, eating food that Tiravanija has cookedhimself while mingling alongside other visitors in a communal area. (Bishop,pg61) Tiravanija’s most famous piece of workis 1992 Untitled (free) it was a very successful and important piece of workthat was described by Laura Hoptman as a ‘social sculpture’.
Tiravanija’s workwas influenced by the social sculpture by Joseph Beuys and the Fluxus movement.It was first exhibited in the 303 Gallery space in New York, Tiravanija decidedhe would clear out and use a back office as a kitchen to be able to prepare andserve rice and vegetarian green Thai curry. For an artist to do something likethis was extreme for the time, as galleries were used to still holding moreformal exhibitions of being guided round a space to see either paintings,sculptures or even performances and the gallery goers chatting about the worksto each other. When Tiravanija came in with his Thai curry, visitors wouldn’texpect to be turned into the art piece itself, due to the fact that artwork isusually meant to be looked at and appreciated from a further away. This exhibition gave off adistinctively different experience from most held at the gallery, the closeryou get to the exhibition space the more you start to smell the Thai curry,being an unusual scent to have floating around a gallery it would make youexceptionally more curious the closer you get until finally finding theexhibition. Having such a delicious smell in a gallery can make things feelmore comforting, as when people smell home cooked meals it brings a sense ofhappiness to people making them not care who they are talking or what even theconversation is about, its having good food and good company that makes it amore enjoyable experience.
This innovating piece of work has beenrecreated at multiple galleries since it first exhibited at the 303 Gallery,the MoMA was one of the galleries that Untitled (free) had been exhibited aspart of the installation Contemporary Galleries: 1980 – Now. The back-officekitchen was recreated to full scale of the original version, Tiravanija himselfdecided to work with MoMA to help recreate the social experience as Tiravanijahas always known that “a gallery is a social frame” (https://search.proquest.com/docview/867435694?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo,2011) and that it needs to be treated more like one. Instead of having to becareful not to touch something, Tiravanija spoke about a piece of work by CarlAndre, saying “I often bring upthe idea that people sometimes walk on a floor sculpture by Carl Andre only tofind out midway (or all the way) through that they have been walking on asculpture. Suddenly people are afraid that they did something they were notsupposed to do (allowed to do).
” (https://www.spikeartmagazine.com,2012) Tiravanija didn’t want anyone to feel afraid or that they have too manylimitations when it came to his work, Untitled (free) could be classed as abreakthrough for Tiravanija, wanting visitors to be able to experience thepiece of art to its fullest and what better way than to turn the galleryvisitors into the art instead. By offering food to the viewers Tiravanija wasattempting to produce a space for the gallery visitors to interact and socialisewith each other, whether they knew each other or not.
However, it wasn’t justgetting viewers to interact with each other and talk about things that they seesuch as pots, left over ingredients, placing of the chairs and tables etc. butTiravanija would also swap places with the visitors so they would be cookinginstead of him was to create confusion as to who the artist was and who theaudience is, blurring the lines that separate artist and viewer. It wasencountering art through pleasure and conversation. FelixGonzales-Torres In 1991 Gonzales-Torres createdUntitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.
) being a memorial to his partner RossLaycock who died of AIDs in 1991. Thepiece was made up of 175 pounds of hard boiled candies that were wrapped inbrightly multi-coloured cellophane wrappers. The viewer can take pieces of thecandy to either eat or give to someone else. Just like Rirkrit Tiravanija, thisworks is unusual in a gallery setting as any form of food is not widelyaccepted in galleries but it had less of a surprise on gallery visitors thatTiravanija’s untitled (free) due to it looking more like a sculptural piece ofwork. Felix Gonzales-Torres liked to explorethe fragile line that separates our public and private lives from each other andgiving some of his works a political point of view to it.
In the early 1990’s,Felix Gonzales-Torres started exhibiting a series of works that were all madeup of hard candies. What draws the viewers’ attention towards these pieces isthe brightly coloured cellophane wrappers that the candies are wrapped in. Eachwork has a different set of colours helping to get the point across with thetype of cause Gonzales-Torres was tackling at the time, such as loss, love,sexuality and sickness are some of the themes Gonzalez-Torres had incorporatedinto his works. Gonzales-Torres wanted people to interact with the work, tohelp establish the real reason behind the work instead of only seeing hardboiled candies in brightly coloured wrappers. “creative expression transforms thespectator from an inert receiver to an active, reflective observer andmotivates social action.” (http://www.
andrearosengallery.com) linking this piece to his lover andtrying to support the AIDS epidemic, wanting people to realise it wasn’t justtheIn a way it is quite a beautifulsorrowful way to use food in a social context, starting the pile off atLaycock’s healthiest weight before his health soon started to decline until hisultimate death. By letting the gallery visitors to take sweets from the pileuntil it needs replenishing again, by doing this Gonzales-Torres is in a waygiving eternal life to Ross Laycock with this piece. When those who take someof the candies from the pile it is also like they are taking apart of Laycockwith them and having the candies in brightly coloured wrappers catches the eyeof the gallery visitors and draws them towards the piece, the coloured wrapperscould also signify Felix Gonzales-Torres sexuality when looked at now due tothe LGBT community adopting the colours of the rainbow and giving each colourof that rainbow a different meaning all of them adding up to create and showpeace. However, a lot of gallery goes can unfortunately look past the truemeaning of Gonzales-Torres work and only taking the candy without having anyafter thought of what it could truly mean not unless you read the statementbefore going over to the candy, this is disappointing as Gonzales-Torres has alot of strong connections and themes that run throughout most of his projects,that help link to issues most people tend to have to deal with on a dailybasis. Grizedale arts:coliseum of the consumed Grizedale arts institution is allabout the development of contemporary art and how we can move it away from theparameters that had been set up around art over the past couple hundred yearsand take it in a new direction for artists to be able to experiment more and getmore involved with cultures, society, politics and getting the local communityinvolved with the arts centre as art is constantly evolving and we must evolveto keep with the new ad inventive ways to now create. It’s an institution thatencompasses many different themes, ways of making and just generalexperimentation and development of art.
“art needs to work on a dailyhabitual basis for everybody in an ordinary way as part of ordinary everydaylife” those at Grizedale want to bring art back to being used asa tool in everyday life and make it less for the elite who go to galleries orbuy expensive works of art because they can do, because they have the money todo so but Grizedale wants to help reinvent that aspect of art and make itaccessible and useful. However, I shall be focusing on thecoliseum of the consumed, which was created by the Yanjiang group, which was aprototype for a cricket pavilion and hosted the coliseum of the consumed, itwas a project that everyone was able to get involved with, around the boundaryof the building they had stalls set up by artists, community groups,eccentrics, all of who were selling home baked products, ideas to do withalternative eating, a produce market and they would also have leaflets to giveout with information on performances and presentations given by artists, chefs,food historians and other such specialists (https://frieze.com). All the moneythat they earned from the coliseum of the consumed was used to help build a newcricket pavilion that the village needed and it was Yangjiang groupscontribution to the growth of the village and helping to form more of a closerconnection to the local community.