Today's POP is Oonagh. Dining with the Futurists.
Influenced by the Futurism movement, artists
In the room there were also large scale projections of what first appeared to be a range of randomly selected words including ‘Surprise Banana’ and ‘Strawberry Breasts’. I laughed at these confusing messages, until I realized that this was what we were having for dinner.
The ten course dinner began with ‘Bombs of Ciberary’ which involved each guest taking a cracker and attempting to put cheese or pâté on to it from a rotating vinyl. This added an element of challenge to the dining experience.
Led by artist Alexander we were then encouraged to sample the second course of 'Areofood’ which was comprised of different textures including olives, kumkwat and onion. This course was accompanied by the sounds of an aeroplane engine, while in the background a surrealist Belgian film about aviation played. Whilst eating we were encouraged to heighten the tactile element of the food further by touching place mats made from sandpaper, velvet and silk.
Throughout the meal we were given cards asking us to direct discussions towards topics such as knives and steroids. This led to many a twist in the conversation. Awkwardly guests attempted to discuss their subjects as much as possible. I was unable to find an opening to allow me to speak about my subject, gymnastics without feeling too foolish. The use of these cards left me feeling manipulated by the artists and challenged by the environment they had created. Highlights of the meal included ‘Simultaneous Onions’ which was an unusual blend of vanilla ice cream and red onion. This left most of the guests shocked and wondering, had The Futurist Cook Book inspired Heston Blumenthal?
The meal ended with ‘Black and White’ a coffee where guests whipped their own cream and burned one pound notes into a mug before coffee was added. This was to give us the idea of having a drawing created in our stomachs, but left an unpleasant ashy taste in my mouth. This innovative and at points bizarre dinner was a bold way of exploring a movement which still provokes strong opinions due to its links to fascism, militarism and misogyny. Through the strength of their work the artists were able to create a provocative and enjoyable discussion on Futurism without glorifying or disparaging this complex historical movement.
Below, artist and organiser Kari Robinson talks us through the meal.
What was the inspiration behind tonight's meal?
It came from a collaborative process between myself and Alex. We are both interested in politics and absurdity and how futile it is to make politics a physical thing. To us this is what the Futurist Cookbook seemed to be trying to achieve. Tonight's meal seemed like a really good way of looking at absurdity, politics and materializing politics while looking at how it could be brought into a contemporary context.
How would you describe the work in tonight's meal?
The whole experience is the work, I wouldn't say the food is just the work, or the setting is the work. It was about the people who got back and how they came together. Therefore I guess tonight's work was mainly eclectic and experimental.
What is it about the Futurist movement's manifesto on food which is of interest to you?
The idea that you can take food as being basic sustenance and try and change that to alter people's politics was a very interesting idea to me. The amount of humour which is within the manifesto was appealing to Alex and myself. Alex in particular uses a lot of humour in his work. There was also something quite interesting to look back on a movement that looked forward.
Why do you feel Futurism is a movement worth creating work about today?
This is something we have struggled with. Whether or not we were eroticizing or historicizing Futurism. But I do believe Futurism is relevant again today in the context of recession and in how people respond to these things in a practical way. It's interesting in the way you do not understand your life is influenced psychologically by economic turmoil as well as on a practical basis.
What do you want the guests tonight to take from the experience?
To think about the relationship between food and thought and food and politics. If there is one thing to be learnt from Futurism it is that they were masters of manipulation through strange methods. The more you are aware of someone trying to manipulate you the less you hopefully won't allow yourself to be manipulated.
What do you believe the connection between art and food is?
I feel they are both a deeply intertwined set of subjects. On a basic level there is in both a need for artists and there is such an amount of creativity involved in both. I think there is also a relational aspect and how you can orchestrate and interaction through food. It has been very interesting tracing the relationship back to where food and art first intertwined.
Why do you feel GI festival is important?
I think it's important for Glasgow because you get a sense that everyone is involved in one thing and there is a buzz about the city. But I also think it is really important when you are a small artist-run space to have a presence in GI festival. As I feel there is a danger of it becoming bigger and therefore homogenized and about more commercial spaces. Therefore I also feel it is important to create work that contributes to the festival while also challenging it.
THE PIPE FACTORY is a new artist run studio, residency and events space situated in the Barras.
The exhibition runs until 7th May.
- POP 893 Weekend 21-22 April 2012
- POP 882 Weekend 6-9 April 2012
- POP 877 Weekend 31 March – 1 April 2012
- POP 887 Weekend 14-15 April 2012
- POP 260 Wednesday, 7 April 2010
You’re currently reading “POP 899 Weekend 28-29 April 2012”, an entry on THEPOP.COM
- 28.04.12 / 6am
- Alexander Storey-Gordon, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Oonagh Brown, The Futurist Cookbook