Sunday, February 20, 2005

Artists Like To Eat

I may not have cast my net wide enough when I said that artists are cannibals. Now I believe we just like to eat.

This month at LMAKprojects Emily Katrenick is eating the wall that separates the gallery space from the living space of art dealer and art historian Louky Keijsers. The project, titled Consuming 1.956 Inches Each Day For Forty-One Days is a performance which places the building into the occupant.
Since Jan. 1, 2005, Katrencik has been eating 1.956 inches of sheetrock each day, in an effort to "collapse boundaries between the artist and dealer, and the architecture and the body." She promises to keep it up for 41 days in all, until a sizeable passage between the two spaces has been, um, cleared. Artnet
Apparently, Katrenick has done this before.
One night I went to the Carpenter Center and began to eat it. I sanded the edges with a rough sand paperócatching the dust in my hand and then licking it from my palm. These performances were videotaped. This action was simultaneously aggressive, neutral and stemming from desire.
Katrenick went on to attempt to ingest the entire Carpenter Centre. As of this writing, she has, so far, not succeeded. Luckily, with the LMAK performance, she has made for herself a more managable meal.
While this project offers multiple theoretical readings, I prefer to focus on the artist/body busily gnawing away at the structure. Cannibals eat their humans as part of a ritual of incorporation. You are what you eat.


Katrenick not only eats the building herself, she also uses the lure of baked goods laced with pieces of the wall to entice her audience to join in. Many mouths make light work. I hope she makes it.

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