Reintroducing the Feast Blog

Alex and Noah in Laura's kitchenblog.jpgThe Feast blog has been dormant for the past year--a calm that belies huge amounts of behind-the-scenes activity as we get ready for the exhibition's opening on February 16, 2012. To share that energy, we're re-launching the site with a bright new look courtesy of Jason Pickleman and JNL graphic design and fresh content by a new group of contributors. We'll pull back the curtain so you can peek into artists' studios and museum archives. We'll highlight classic older art and introduce works-in-progress commissioned especially for Feast. We'll unpack the many kinds of creative labor and collaboration that go into producing a complex exhibition like this one. And we'll look ahead to all the events that will kick off with the exhibition's opening in February and spill out onto campus and around the city until June. Watch for regular posts over the coming months.

Ace intern Sarah Mendelsohn will lead off with posts about her participation in Food for Thought, a University of Chicago class that that Professor Laura Letinsky and I co-taught during spring quarter 2011. Laura is one of the artists featured in Feast, and we designed the course to go beyond the meal--Feast's focus--to address the broader topic of food in art. Food and its consumption form essential parts of human experience and have played a correspondingly rich role within creative cultural production over millennia--as vehicles for need and desire, purity and danger, value and lack, connection and disruption. The course considered what's at stake when contemporary artists build on this longstanding practice to explore the complexities of current societal, political, and cultural contexts.

One especially satisfying part of the course were workshops and field trips in which we prepared and shared meals together as a way to ground theoretical debates. For three of these sessions, exhibiting artists Theaster Gates, Laura Letinksy, and Michael Rakowitz met with the class to discuss their approach to artmaking and share works-in-progress for Feast. Food for Thought followed a long tradition of connecting the Smart to University teaching--from Art 101 sessions focused on objects in the collection to seminars like this one that give students intimate views into the working processes of contemporary artists. (Any current UofC students reading this: note that a revised version of the course will be offered in Spring 2012, while Feast is on view. Sign up early. Tell your friends!) More soon on the course and workshops from Sarah.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Stephanie Smith published on August 25, 2011 12:01 PM.

CHICAGO and PITTSBURGH: Enemy Kitchen meets Conflict Kitchen was the previous entry in this blog.

Food for Thought is the next entry in this blog.

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Blog Description

This is an informal curatorial research blog for Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, an exhibition about the meal as a medium for contemporary artists. The exhibition opens at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art in February 2012.