The Neederlands eating artist Marije Vogelzang has been a great source of inspiration for me since I discovered the Eat Art movement, six years ago. From the discovery of her beautifully-designed and carefully-tought book Eat Love (BIS publishers, 2009) to her views on how to creatively approach human eating and relationship with each others through the act of eating, I was amazed by their implied revolutions, and how close they were from my points of view. Many of her performances are in my mind since them, and created new questions I wanted to answer on my turn.
Here is a combination of her participative Budapest event, where gypsy woman were feeding blindly some visitor while narrating their own personal story, and her Chrismas designed tparty table, where people were people share part of food with each other. And her idea of long spoons.
I wanted to created a meal where it is impossible to ignore the person in front of you nor to concentrated only on your own plate because your ustensiles are so long they can only feed the person in front of you.
This meal was set up as a breakfast, a homey sweet menu I love to cook. Pies, pancakes, eggs, cheeses, scramble tofu or eggs, cookies, dates, pain doré, smoothies, teas, ... It was a banquet planned for 20 people. We ended up to be 13 pople sitted at 3 different levels of table. Theses friends and family helped with the last preparation of food and the making of the long ustensiles: forks, butter knifes, spoons and serving ustensiles. I originally intended to designed it in one material, but the was a great test run in terms of distances between eaters and lenght/strenght effect for its users.
The meal lasted longer than a usual brunch takes because the ritual was slower: each person was feeding the person I front of them, might it be a stranger for them who sitted there randomly or someone they already knew through me.
The rythme of eating, to vocalise your dishes choices, to pay attention to the mouth and face of the person you are feeding and is feeding you, the eye contacts, the little reflex of organising the plate and cleaning it, laughters of comical situations, bites sizes, calling and sharing dishes: everyone took a greater consciousness of what they were intaking. And all where more conscious on when they felt full.
The whole group helped me clean up while talking to their new made friends.