Tag Archives: Mel Chin

The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, New York

The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, New York
1047 Amsterdam Avenue @ 112th Street
New York, NY 10025

Curated by Kirby Gookin & Robin Kahn
www.ValueofFood.org (under construction)

October 6, 2015 – April 3, 2016

The Venue
Saint John the Divine, The Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York is proud to present The Value of Food: Sustaining a Green Planet, a contemporary art exhibition guest-curated by Kirby Gookin and Robin Kahn. The Cathedral is the world’s largest Gothic structure visited by more than one million people annually. With its long history of engagement with issues of social justice, the environment, support for the arts, and community empowerment, it is a unifying center of intellectual leadership and an exceptional resource center of educational and cultural exhibitions and programs.
The Exhibition

The Value of Food explores the dynamic and organic materiality of food and its integral role in sustaining human life. The artists in this exhibition work with food as a form of social engagement. Although their subjects and methodology vary, they each explore the intersection of food, art, commerce and community in order to engage the exhibition’s unifying theme: food justice.

Food security, accessibility and sustainability are a global concern. How will we feed the earth’s projected nine billion people in 2050? If we continue to farm and eat as we do, there will not be enough food to feed everyone. The Value of Food investigates how our decisions about food directly impact the balance of our social, political and ecological future.

Installed in a circular path within the Cathedral’s 14 bays and 7 chapels, as well as throughout its gardens, the exhibition is divided into seven thematic sections: Water, Soil, Seed, Farm, Market, Meal and Waste; each representing a spoke in the cycle of food production.

As in life, food is an essential ingredient in art. The ancient Roman poet Ovid described the art of brushing bread crumbs off of a woman’s lap as a flirting technique in Ars Armatoria; Italian Renaissance paintings of The Last Supper depict hefty carafes of wine and plates of sumptuous meats; while in the North still-life paintings of rotting fruit with flies and freshly killed game decorated the homes of noblemen for centuries.

The Value of Food is premised on an egalitarian ideal promulgated by a growing number of artists in the aftermath of World War II that recognizes that the materials of everyday life—a burlap sack, a candy wrapper, or detritus found in the street—are equally suitable ingredients of the artist’s palette as a tube of paint.

Since the 1960’s an international coterie of artists have expanded this principle to explore the representation and material use of food. Regardless of their method, they typically worked with food within the limited confines of a formal art gallery setting. Alison Knowles is a pioneer in this tradition, known for serving soups and salads to an art viewing audience since 1962. Daniel Spoerri, another innovator opened up a functioning restaurant in a Parisian art gallery in 1963. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that artists brought food back outside into the world, as when Carol Goodden and Gordon Matta-Clark opened Food, a cooperative restaurant formed as a “social sculpture” that employed and fed local artists in downtown Manhattan.

The artists in this exhibition have been inspired to expand the possible uses of food as an art medium. They are employing a variety of inventive strategies- seed banking, urban foraging, rooftop farming, composting, cooking and sharing meals- to further explore how food defines the quality of our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The Value of Food will also be presenting a variety of educational programs, workshops and evening events, some in collaboration with Mother Jones, Magnum Foundation and Grace Communications Foundation, as well as with artists and guest speakers. Pull up a seat and join us at The Tables. Food becomes a meal only when it is shared.

Kirby Gookin & Robin Kahn, Guest Curators.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (list in formation):

Suzanne Anker
Stefani Bardin
Pascal Bernier
Mike Bidlo
Matt Black
Mel Chin
Ines Doujak
Eating in Public
Coleen Fitzgibbon
Fallen Fruit
Fredericka Foster
Hunger Through My Lens
Nancy Hwang
Christian Jankowski
Robin Kahn
Alison Knowles
Larry Miller
Vik Muniz
Jan Mun
Peter Nadin
Naoto Nakagawa
Tom Otterness
Claire Pentecost
Alexis Rockman
Christy Rupp
Laura Stein
Tattfoo Tan
Nigel Van Wieck
Kara Walker
Linda Weintraub
Peter Lamborn Wilson

With documentation and ephemera by additional artists involved in these many issues, including: Agnes Denes, Fluxus, Carol Goodden and Gordon Matta-Clark, Fritz Haeg, Corita Kent, Dieter Roth, Daniel Spoerri, Superflex, Rirkrit Tiravanija, among others.

For more information please contact:
Kirby Gookin: KirbyGookin@yahoo.com
Robin Kahn: RobinKahn@yahoo.com

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Joan Mitchell Foundation Panel Discussion How we made it happen: A behind-the-scenes look at preparing for Mel Chin: ReMatch

Joan Mitchell Foundation


How we made it happen:
A behind-the-scenes
look at preparing for
Mel Chin: ReMatch

Saturday, February 22, 10am

unnamed-1Join us at New Orleans Museum of Art on Saturday, February 22 at 10am for a panel hosted by the Joan Mitchell Foundation Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) program.


Mel Chin, CALL artist
Rose Candela Moore, CALL Legacy Specialist and assistant to Mel Chin
Miranda Lash, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, NOMA
Panel moderated by Carolyn Somers, Executive Director of the Joan Mitchell Foundation

In 2009 Miranda Lash, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art, approached Carolyn Somers, Director of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, in regards to working with Mel Chin through the Foundation’s Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) program, in preparation for Mel Chin: Rematch, a forty-year retrospective of Mel Chin’s career.

The CALL program works with artists to help them organize and document their artwork and archival materials, making it possible for curators to access images and information that might otherwise be unavailable to them.

Creating an extensive archive of Mel Chin’s legacy, in his own voice, made it possible for the New Orleans Museum of Art to organize the most expansive presentation of his work to date. This panel brings together artist, Mel Chin, NOMA curator, Miranda Lash, Chin’s assistant, Rose Candela Moore and Carolyn Somers to discuss getting in shape for Rematch.

For more details, please visit NOMA’s website here.

Click here to learn more about the CALL Program.

New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins C. Diboll Circle, City Park
New Orleans, Louisiana 70124
(504) 658-4100

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