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Thursday, 28 October 2004

... BUT IS IT IN GOOD TASTE?

Ananova (citing Las Ultimas Noticias) brings news of yet more so-called "conceptual art". Chilean artist Paula de Solminihac is offering her audience a free dinner as part of her new exhibition: the dirty plates, cutlery and leftovers will then make up part of the display. Ms Solminihac also plans to film and photograph her guests eating at the Galeria Animal in Santiago.

Each person will be given a closed box filled with 18 cubes of both savoury and sweet food that will look the same. People won't know what taste to expect until they put the food in their mouths. Said Ms Solminihac:

"My intention is to establish new relations with the viewer; in this case the viewer is part of the work of art, transforming it by eating and then finishing it. The leftovers of the dinner, the table cloth, the food bites and the used cutlery will also be displayed after the meal is over."
The IPKat doubts he'll be much use in this experiment, since he never leaves anything on his plate. More seriously, this particular art-concept raises some tricky questions. First, who is the "author" of the left-overs, Ms Solminihac or the individual diners? Secondly, what rights, if any, may vest in an assembly or compilation of dirty plates and leftovers? Thirdly, is the resulting film a "performance" in respect of which the consent of those filmed may need to be secured?

More on Ms Solminihac here, here and here (for Spanish speakers only)
Food as art here and here

2 comments:

Paul Geller said...

According to one report, the law of the classic Greek colony in Southern Italy, Sybaris, provided that, if a cook came up with a new and tasty dish, no one else could make the dish during one year. Athenaeus, _The Deipnosophists_, trans. Charles Burton Gulick, 7 vols., Loeb Classics (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press, 1963), vol. 5, p. 349. For the best analysis I've seen of i.p. claims in culinary creations, see Mario Fabiani, "Diritto di autore gastronomico", _Diritto di Autore_, vol. 58, p. 116 (1987).

Quit Smoking said...

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Neil

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