Day 2: Marije Vogelzang, you are awesome
I love Marije Vogelzang. Not only for the fact that she is an “eating designer”, I mean how much cooler can you get? But for her ways of respecting and breaking customs related to eating in order to build communities, or confront her audience with contemporary social issues. Marije Vogelzang, you are awesome.
“I used a table with a tablecloth, but instead of putting the cloth on the table, I made slits in it and suspended it in the air, so that the participants sat with their heads inside the space and their bodies outside. This physically connects each person: If I pull on the cloth here, you can feel it there. Covering everyone’s clothing also created a sense of equality. Initially I was concerned that people would reject the experience, particularly because the participants didn’t know each other beforehand, but it actually increased their desire to relate to one another, and brought about a feeling of being in something together.
One person was served a slice of melon on a plate that was cut in two; the person opposite her was given ham on a similar plate. The combination was so classic that, without even being told to do so, the participants naturally began to share their food. People were very formal when they entered the lunch, but once they were inside the tablecloth they became as playful as children. Because I didn’t want to close people up in my design, everyone was given scissors and could cut themselves free at any time. Allowing participants to remove themselves from the design actually includes them in it, in a different way.”
“A 3 day performance where Gypsy (Roma) Women feed visitors while telling their life stories.
Every participant will be served by one Roma woman. She will serve the food that she has personal memories of. She will feed the participant wet things with a spoon, dry things with her hands. Feeding is a very intimate ritual that is a rare thing happening in life. Especially when it’s done by a stranger. The whole performance will be a ritual; First the woman washes her hands. The visitor cannot see who serves him but he can see her hands. While doing this she starts telling him her life story. As if she would be speaking to a friend and gently like a mother to her child.
The visitor cannot see her face or see her eyes. This is essential. He needs to feel like there are no social codes or rules he needs to follow. She will show him the dishes that have memories for her. She will feed him with her dishes while talking about her life. “