Feed (2014) was presented at envoy enterprises as a solo exhibition of the material artifacts from my work investigating food from the perspective of nourishment, ritual, culture, and source of sensorial pleasure.
Feed began with a year-long daily exercise which involved the use of one identical 20 x 20 -inch white cloth dinner napkin to wipe my mouth each night at dinner. I then filed the napkins with a detailed record of the ingredients of my meal. In the instances where I prepared the meal myself, I included a complete list of all of the ingredients. In the instance of dining out in a restaurant or as a guest in someone’s home, I used my best judgment to record the ingredients.
For the exhibition, all 365 soiled napkins were sewn together in chronological order to create an interlocking, two-spiral, 100-foot, walk-in structure hanging from the gallery ceiling. This sculpture was accompanied by a non-traditional, limited edition cookbook in which a photograph of each soiled napkin is accompanied by a detailed list of ingredients. Elaborate three-course meals are boiled down to a scientific index, leaving the taste and visual image of the meal up to the viewer’s imagination.
The year-long daily exercise included the use of 6 x 6-inch paper lunch napkins to dab my mouth each morning after my morning green juice. These paper napkins were arranged in twelve framed calendar formations, creating a visual record of time passing, much like a prisoner keeping track of time by drawing lines on the cell wall.
Both pieces serve as intimate, tactile self-portraits, as they represent of a year of my life recorded through the food that nourished me.
As part of the project, I created two small-scale sculptures: a casting of the negative space of the inside of my mouth out of edible golden candy and the hollow of my abdomen out of white confectionery gum paste. Like the stains left over from meals on the napkins, these pieces are negative imprints of a living, breathing body.