The picture’s of a watermelon sculpture by Hugh McMahon, who’s also quite well known for his pumpkin carving. The piece went on display tonight for the second night of the Umami food and art festival. I played the good art event volunteer again and am so glad I did. What a terrific time with a wonderful group of folks. Of course I know better than to let myself get too involved in the arts again. I’ve never been able to figure out duality of curator and artist. Both are slaves to something, but as curator, can take a beating. Though, Umami is a great event, created by an interesting bunch of folks from all creative backgrounds. I’m proud to support with my time. I’ll be back again some nights next week and will take more pictures.
The main course—Orphic Memory Sausage—is a performance piece by Mimi Oka and Doug Fitch which altogether demands participation of its audience. Folks are asked to.. “Bring anything that evokes a memory of place or time or experience that you wish to transform into sausage – a souvenir that can be chopped up into tiny pieces – an old CD or cassette tape, a cracked plate, a worn-out article of clothing, a broken chair, an old shoe, a bouquet of wilted flowers, a diary, a telephone book, photographs of old lovers, harvested hay, dried fish, yesterday’s newspaper, a painting, an obsolete appliance, a dead computer, hair from a haircut, a stuffed toy, etc…and together we will smash, chop and pulverize everything, mixing all of it into a great pulp to be stuffed into pig intestines and hung to dry or perhaps even smoked.”
I brought only myself as a volunteer for the event. But my two hands learned how to make sausage. I’m thrilled because it’s been one of those to dos that just hasn’t gotten to done, until now. What a strange and delightful way to learn to make this favourite animal gut encased food. The gross chopped, blended, pulverized grey- and confetti-like mash of memories was warm and, well, how to describe it? It is maybe gooey, goupie, a bit chunkie, with random hairs and slime. A suspension of ick and gag is not a problem for me, so I jumped right in. Tonight I took my very own Orphic Memory Sausage home and hung it in my rear view mirror. My automobile is evolving into my very own art car—slowly but surely, it has begun.
Before the orgy of stuffing wet flacid pig guts, last night was a lecture and water tasting by Michael Stock and tonight was a talk and chocolat tasting with Alexandra Leaf. More thrills for this prandium girl as I had read a chapter from her book The Impressionists’ Table for food and fine art last autumn. The professor had provided copies of the chapter so tonight I ordered used copies; she’s out of print currently, and Alexandra promised to sign them for me for my library. Michael and I have an interview in the coming days for the water paper I’m working on.
These posts are lacking enough images. The photographer promised me copies and his permission to post them here. I’ll track him down and get them. Next week I’ll take more myself. Nowadays, I’m learning to balance dualities as writer, photographer, grad student. I think I’ve grown up some. Keep putting out “happiness vibrations” as The Secret Life of Water author, Masaru Emoto, suggests is key to everything.
Check the Umami food and art festival website for schedule information. They’ve invited artists from around Gotham, working in various media, with food as the central theme to participate in the festival.