Eat Art as an art movement is still unknown to many, even if its topics are so close to us.
Here are some texts written by a few art historians, museum curators, and artists for your information.
«Far from being a secondary act, nourishing oneself is therefore a fundamental act that sets all our senses into motion, produces social bonds, and poses ethical and aesthetic questions. (...) Food is not only good to eat but it is good to look at, for it is the fruit of a human action, the fruit of history.»
Josette Rasle, curator of the exhibit L'art fait ventre, musée de la Poste, Paris, 2014
«Starting in 1970, the "Eat Art" of Daniel Spoerri, to return to another inevitable reference for artistic expressions of cuisine, invited itself to the table and invented itself "as the expression of a unifying art that considers food and eating issues worthy of integrating in the exclusive world of fine arts." Eat Art was to be understood as "art about food" but literally also as "eating art", with food proper (happenings) and in figurative form (actually executed works) as material for artistic creation.
Food was exhibited as "food readymades" (Michel Onfray), which places us reflectively, critically, and aesthetically at a good distance from our everyday consumer fare. Table settings (La Table) were also done as picture (tableau), or rather as "snare-pictures", hung vertically on the wall with relief of meals, traces of wine or coffee, crockery, and table decorations left as is, once the curtain of food scene, with its actors, has been lowered.
Tired of his status as an artist, in 1968 the founder of Eat Art opened in Düsseldorf the true "Spoerri Restaurant", a deceptively ordinary establishment devoted to ongoing happenings. An "exotic menu" was built upon excessive flavors or unappetizing dishes (ants, pythons, elephant trunk, bear paws), which served to awaken people's dietary consciousnesses. After a meal was over, one could even buy one's table and obtain a certificate of guarantee signed by the artist, a sort of pardon from the restaurant's owner.
It is impossible to enumerate here all the experimental artistic activities undertaken, which extended beyond the confines of the Restaurant and concerned the "Eat Art Gallery" and the "Éditions Eat Art" publishing company. For just the period between 1970 and 1972, no less than 30 artists (Richard Lindner, Roy Lichtenstein, Dieter Roth, Joseph Beuys, etc.) filed in and out, all of them seduced by the potentialities Eat Art offered for their own creative approaches.
And one would still have to mention the thematic banquets, "digestible art" with the tasting of famous works done in the form of cakes, heightening the vice to the point of making artists consume their own works (Nikki de Saint Phalle, Jacques Villeglé, Raymond Hains) during a meal (Ultima Cena) that celebrated both the tenth anniversary of New Realism and its historical end.»
Jean-Jacques Boutaud, Food Semiologist, Dijon University, 2014