10/09/2016

Appetizer: u/n multitude

Starter: Yan Tamkovich

Soup: Angelina Merenkova

Main Course: Polina Kanis

Dessert: Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov

Maitre de’ceremonie: Alexander Rychkov

Kitchen: Evgenia Chassagnard, Ksenia Lukina


 

Futurist dinner was held on occasion of official opening of Untitled,. Four young artists and one artist's collective were invited to develop recipes and presentation methods for a course of their own, however all based on an open interpretation of the culinary manifesto by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Composed in 1932 the Italian futurist’s manifesto urged to modernise the nation through changing its diet and introducing immediate features of technological progress to cooking, such as the use ultra-violet rays and electrolyzers. The manifesto has also suggested revising a ritual of food consumption itself, making it more performative and multi-sensorial.

 

The participants of the reenactment-dinner were invited to come up with a response to the legacy of futurists by answering a question “What is eating for us now?” (a word-play, as in Russian the verb “to be” and the verb “to eat” are homophonous, so the question may as well sound as “What is the now for us?”). The question, henceforth, allows for an answer to be absurd, to include opposing views or even a total absence of any view. The only invariable, encoded semantically into the title question of the dinner is a suggestion to see food as a cornerstone element in artistic practice with all the great variety of its contexts, from the role of food in geopolitical dispute to its primal physiological function.

 

Futurist dinner united different artists and gave them total freedom of expression within the given discourse, the individual courses and ways of presentation were all treated individually and not curated to comply to a scenario. The event has defined the following course for Untitled’s programme as an art space: treating food as a medium in contemporary art and a dinner as a format alternative to exhibition, putting together heterogeneous practices and standpoints under one roof or, shall we say, all at one table.

 

The dinners’ menu was comprised of five courses: appetizer, starter, soup, main course and dessert. U/n multitude -- a collective of artists and music historians, working with performative practices in the public field -- prepared an appetizer made of space food and a jelly filled with digestive pills. The serving was accompanied by Nikita Spiridonov, one of the group’s members, reading out the text on the experiments of academic Pavlov, Soviet scientist who used children from orphanages as his study groups. The sight of food triggered production of saliva in children, saliva production being the focus subject for the academic. Yan Tamkovich -- a Moscow-based artists, who studies and re-appropriates the legacy of European modernists and Soviet nonconformists -- came up with a starter course: a mushroom pate disguised as monkey’s brain. The head of a toy ape was served scalpless inside a wooden bowl filled with red wine. Angelina Merenkova -- an artist whose practice involves reflecting on indexes of militarist discourse -- has served a soup: its ingredients were floating in the broth inside tiny rafts, the artist used a radio-controlled submarine to knock them down in a manner of a mock sea-battle. At the bottom of a transparent soup bowl she put a Czech hedgehog assembled out of asparagus. The main course by the video artist Polina Kanis was turned into a pure gesture. Kanis has ordered a delivery from a nearby restaurant, a roasted duck was brought on the table by a courier right in the middle of a dinner. Ilya Fedotov-Fedorov, an artist working in the rare genre of bio-art, has composed a dessert out of beeswax, honey, dry bees and royal jelly ice cream.

 

All the courses were served individually, one after another, the invited guests had a chance to taste each of them.

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