New ways of EATING
Event took place at 1520 studios, 27th May 2022, as part of A Modest Proposal, the collateral programme to
The British Art Show 9.
Disconnected from sustenance, no longer foragers or farmers, we do not know the earth, and frown up its dirt. As we, distracted screen munchers, shovel comfort into bellies, our vacated minds are comfortably numbed.
new func seeks to commune through food with bodies, minds, time and space; all expanding and contracting together as we play in the tensions of sensory disjuncture and desire.
We seek to gain sustenance in ways which make us feel alive. To be in overwhelming connection with food and environment and one another,
as we obtain, prepare and eat.
*Filmed by Miroslav Andjelkovic.
Below: Fixed Menu for 27th May. Right: The Vegan Cheese Battalion.
The Vegan Cheese Battalion
2 Commanders skewer food and hold it in fountain, whispering “cheeeeez, cheeeez”, before their whisper becomes louder and louder, chanting “CHEEEEEZ” they sniff out those with a cheese weakness, force them into corners, pin them down, and feed them cheese. Once eaten, the eater joins the Cheese Battalion picking up a stick or fork to infect another with Cheese. Once all have become Cheese, the Battalion feed each other until H pours the remaining cheese in a circle outline on the dustsheet floor.
Removing socks and shoes H + T walk through the cheese continuing to chant “cheeeeez” as slowly as possible, encouraging all to join in, stepping through the cheese in slow-mo, leaading into the final piece, I AM COMPOST.
We the table
8 forks dangle from the wrists of 8 people. They are about to become the table, holding 8 plates and 1 pot of stew. We the table must not leave go of our plates and pot, for we the table only exist as long as we commune through plates and food. We the table cannot speak, so we speak through the sounds of plate, food and fork. We the table need to feed, but cannot feed ourselves. We the table have 3 empty hands, and only these hands may hold a fork to feed the table. We the table exist, until the table is fed.
Stew me baby
4 choppers chop, 16 stewers stomp. Chop, STOMP, wave the ingredients sheet into the pan - We all stir around the pot. The collective movement and chant of "stirring, STIRRING" around the pot gets louder and faster until all reaches boiling point and the stewers collapse.
Conjoined Plate Face
2 people conjoin by pushing heads into holes of the pvc plate. Stew is ladled on, and slides towards mouths.
Mutual Bowl Head
Uno Bowl Head
* Piece performed but not recorded.
Upstairs, all gather in circle. H goes round with thyme plant, everyone taking a sprig and holding it to their nose. All breathe in and out deeply then whisper “time”, in and out deeply, “time”. Thinking all the time only of Thyme, we continue to breathe in and out deeply then whisper “time”. In procession we move downstairs, the whispered chant of “time” slowly becoming louder. Entering the darkness of the basement, the only light is that of the camping stove upon which sits a pot of simmering water. Continuing the breath and chant all place their sprig of thyme into the pot. Now lie your head down on one of the mats encircling the pot, and gradually make your deep breath in and out faster and your chant of “TIME” louder. The piece ends when Thyme cannot get any faster or louder.
8 players stand around table with sticks in hands. After gong, players chant the colour of their desire “RED, RED, RED”. The loudest is fed first, chants continuing while players attempt to fork the requested colour into another’s mouth. As a ball enters a mouth the gong is hit and all (players and fans) must stop and chant the colour being chewed; “RED, RED, RED”. Once eaten, a player gives their sticks to a substitute. The gong rings again, and the players repeat until all colours are mush.
BELLEE GRUMBUL - After fasting, NUNNNZ intensify the tension between desire and constraint. The hum of heat (keeping huge spinning kebabs warm) fills the chamber as we are strapped to rotating sound boxes (like giant guitars) which amplify the groans and grumbles of their bellies. Kebabs sweep past and brush their meat sweat onto bodies, but we must resist the hunger. They must keep spinning until their belly groans align, and they grumble together, over and above the hum of the heat.
CHEW CHEW TRAYN - Climbing into gigantic spinning teeth MEZAZAYEYE circle round the mouth. Chewing food and being chewed, all chew in unison. Chew chew chew into nothing, until the spinning stops, then swallow. The giant teeth open and food blossoms from the roof of the mouth. They bite off the bud, and the spinning starts once more. Chew chew they enter the chew, become the chew and the chew becomes all. All is nothing, but our bellies are full.
DANCES WITH SPINACH
Step 1: Concentric Composting
Step 2: Compost Fling
Step 5: Saluting the Seed
CHANT: With each step of DANCES WITH SPINACH there is a consistent chant of "EYE UM SHUM" (except in SOIL YO'SELF)
Above: In Compost Fling, on "EYE" we stoop, on "UM" we gather, on "SHUM" we fling the compost above and onto the earth behind us.
Step 4: Stick Dancin' Seed Path
Step 7: Harvest
Step 6: Watering the Wind
During the harvest, some spinach is left to grow into male and female forms, the winds fertilise the females, and they go to seed. A similar Harvest dance is undertaken in the collection of seeds, and the decaying male and female stems go into the compost for the DANCES WITH SPINACH to go on.
SPAY S TY M CHEW SPY RUL
Spiralling up and down a giant bowl, MEZA ZA YE YE pass from Sweet Sour Tooth to Savoury Bitter Tooth, where tasty little teeth can be plucked and chewed. Chewing all the way from tooth to tooth, MEZA ZA YE YE begin to chew in harmony, while giant teeth chew on the giant bowl in discord. Chewing and taste disjunctures create a perpetually stalling, speeding and crashing brain; stalled by bitter/sour warning signals, compelled by sweet/savoury signs to salivate and chew; warning fights compulsion, frazzling the mind. Stall, speed, crash goes the brain, as chew chew chew go the teeth. Every moment seems almost the same, until chewing becomes time and space.
GRAYP CHEEZ SMUSH SIRKUL
For BREKEE, YAY lie in pairs under columns of melting cheese. They smother it over skins and into mouths, wensleydale and cranberry drooping down, until they are cast together in cheese. Having melted out, the previous residents of the cheese column push the newly cast pair down to the GRAYP CHEEZ CARVEREE. Here as falling grapes split upon blades into mouths, the pair are sliced apart and smushed into cheese columns with new partners. Spiralling back up to the circle’s brim, the cheese column begins to melt again, as its residents pluck grapes from trees and feed each other’s needs.
CONS YOOM DAN POOD
In the Strawberry field, VAK YOO AK YOO OOM enter the food cycle; the conversation of earth, enzymes, strawberries and teeth. They commence dinner time by sliding down mudholes into the earth, before passing through membranes of giant roots. Through cells, they are sucked up, squeezed together and pushed out of stems as strawberry seeds. The strawberries fall into chomping mouths, squish into stomachs and drown. Here, the strawberry seeds eat themselves, as they themselves are digested. Once full, they sink into mush, dribble through loop the loops, and splutter out as poo; returning to minerals of earth.
KUK - NNNNNUNZZZ cook their stew in a mammoth pot, whilst cooking themselves within rings of fire. Around and around the central fire, they dance their bodies and minds into mush, and push colossal wooden cranks to haul the ingredients up the Spiral Stew Path. From high up top, the ingredients drop and crash into the stew. NNNNNUNZZZ cook until mush.
STYOO - When cooked, NNNNUNZZZ themselves are pushed up the Spiral Stew Path, and splash down into food. Swept through currents of stew, they resurface, and begin to consume, at first with hands, but then with slurps and gasps for air, as their seat slowly spirals back down into stew. Immersed once more, they are stew, consuming themselves. And then they fall, out the bottom of the mammoth pot. A new born stew, they return to pushing the cranks, pushing more NNNUNZZZ up the Spiral Stew Path until all are and is consumed.
BOWNSEE FOOD FOWNTIN
A cacophony of tastes jumble around a jelly castle; up, down, and through the fountain. Ready for BREKEE, VAK YOO AK YOO OOM dive in, tumbling down through falling food filling mouths; all the textures and tastes at once. They bounce around and gorge in mid-air, before splashing into the food mush moat. The only way out is to plunge into, merge with and eat through the mush.
FISH N CHIP GATEAU
Rich soils are printed into monstrous foods which chant their names when ready to eat. NARA RA RAYTA approach, echoing chants such as “SPA GETEE TREE, SPA GETEE TREE, KRUNCH, KRUNCH, KRUNCH.” The foods also chant disingenuous textures and tastes, creating ruptures between mouths and brains. Under the food’s spell, NARA RA RAYTA follow its movement and chant as it lures them in before pouncing into their mouths. Every day there’s a new dish for BREKEE as any leftovers decay within hours, returning to and rejuvenating the earth. Today’s dish is a Fish N Chip Gateau surrounded by Snapping Peach Boats in a Baked Bean Moat rounded off with a Spagahetti Meatball Tree on the side.