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Dieter Roth- “Gartenskultptur” (1970-2000)

March 10, 2010



jars, paints, glass, farm equipment, artist tools, chocolate, birdseed, clothing, monitors, funnels, twine, food wrappers

Gartenskulptur, a work that saw many iterations over nearly thirty years, began in 1970. Its first manifestation was a series of busts made of birdseed and chocolate mounted outdoors. Slowly, Gartenskulptur began to take on a larger architecture. Paintings and other works of art were placed near the busts, and funnels caught bird refuse and the remains of artworks that were washed away by the elements. These remains were boiled, then placed in a jar and put back on the growing trellis-like structure. In 1973 rabbit hutches with live bunny inhabitants were added to Gartenskulptur and the waste they produced was used to make small sculptures, which were in turn re-incorporated into the work. Video monitors, clothing, and other elements also made their way onto the assemblage with every re-installation. Gartenskulptur traveled across Europe for installation in various urban and rural locations, each time disassembled and re-made. It spent some years in storage. But in 2000, after Dieter Roth’s death, it was re-installed in Switzerland and artists continued adding to the structure, adding on small greenhouses. A constant collaboration between nature and artist, Gartenskulptur explores art as a never-ending process of decay and recreation, death and rebirth. Roth’s work often meditates upon these themes of impermanence, using techniques like collage to examine accretion and dissemination, and ephemeral materials like food stuffs to consider cyclical consumption and excretion. Gartenskulptur is unique in his oeuvre in that it continues to be part of the re-collection of the artistic canon, even beyond the scope of his own life.

Explore MoMA’s interactive retrospective here

Catalogue from the MoMA exhibition here

Cocoa-Dusted Rabbit Legs Stuffed with Pinenuts

This recipe brings together elements from several of the iterations of Gartenskulptur for an unusual, but delicious dish.

Serves 6-8

  • 6 rabbit legs
  • 3/cup pinenuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin oil plus 4 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • salt to taste
  • 3/4 bottle dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Remove bones from rabbit legs and butterfly open.

In a food processor, blend together pinenuts and olive oil until a paste is formed. Divide paste among 4 rabbit legs and roll each leg up. Tie each leg securely with butcher twine.

Mix together cocoa powder and salt. Dust each leg in the mixture.

In a 10 to 12-inch saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons oil until hot. Place rabbit legs in pan and saute on all sides. Pour in red wine and vinegar bring to boil. Lower to a simmer and cover halfway. Cook 50 to 60 minutes until very tender, turning occasionally. Remove rabbit legs and cut the strings; keep warm. Reduce remaining liquid until thick and syrupy, adding a tablespoon of flour if needed. Pour sauce over legs to serve.

Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.


Tatsumi Orimoto- “Bread Man Son + Alzheimer Mama” (1996)

March 10, 2010

Bread Man Son + Alzheimer Mama


Photographic Print

This photo represents the intersection of two veins of work by photographer and performance artist Tatsumi Orimoto: his bread man performances and his performative works with his mother who has Alzheimer’s. In the 1990s, Orimoto embarked on an ongoing series of performances in which he tied loaves bread to his face so that he could not be identified. Traveling to different locales across the globe with this universal signifier of sustenance concealing his identity, he took on the persona “Bread Man,” creating unexpected encounters. Simultaneously familiar and other, the bread man performances interrogate identity creation, consumption, and acceptance. He calls this work “communication art;” it explores how and what meaning is made through daily interactions. The bread man spawned another series of communicative works called “Art Mama” in which Orimoto places his mother and others suffering from dementia in unexpected circumstances, often causing the participants much delight, and moving witnesses of the performances or the photographs of them. This staged photo brings bread man (or son in this case) and art mama together in a surprising, and poignant meeting. Though this photographic work is not explicitly a document of performance seems to further blur the already hazy line that segments visual artworks from performative practices. At the crux of this intersection is the question what separates art from life?

Easy, no-Knead, Bread

This simple recipe is meant to mirror the simplicity of Orimoto’s acts. Through simple gestures and interactions, both this recipe and Orimoto create surprisingly profound results.

recipe taken from Mark Bitman of the New York Times. See his video here.

Makes 1 ½ pound loaf

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • Cornmeal as needed

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack. Serve once completely cooled.

Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.

Corin Hewitt- “Seed Stage” (2009)

March 10, 2010

Seed Stage


Root vegetables, seeds, earthworms, camera, film, polaroid, laser printer, canning jars, recycled theatrical sets for structure

duration: October 3-January 4, 2009

Four days a week for three months sculptor and photographer spent nine hours in the Whitney in New York City. He constructed a white cube within the white cube gallery of the lobby which he inhabited. He spent his days planting seeds, cooking and preserving vegetables, while also manipulating the foodstuffs by photographing the processes, creating sculptural ‘doubles’ of the food in various states of consumption through casting, and recycling the remains of his artistic work, including some of the photographic prints, as compost for re-seeding. The space had a color palate freize that served as inspiration for the creation of an array of colorful food creations color-matched to the spectrum. His studio/ performance space was primarily closed off from view, only four small apertures allowed visitors to witness his labor. He produced some Polaroids and larges-scale prints that were exhibited on the surrounding walls that, like the canning of  vegetables, preserved some relics and remains of his action. Though, he insists these are as separate artworks, not documentation of the piece. Like the “Still Life” of Sam Taylor-Wood, Seed Stage explored the notions of how art remains, but positioned it more as an ecological becoming rather than a sure death. At the intersection of performance and visual art, Seed Stage created a kind of animate still life that was not so much interactive or relational as regenerative and self-sustaining.

Listen to Corin Hewitt talk about Seed Stage.

See more photos on Flickr.

Carrots Three Ways

Drawing on Hewitt’s re-iterative strategies, this recipe explores carrots in three forms: raw, cooked, and preserved, forming a color-palate for the plate.

Serves 6-8

*note pickled carrots and salad should be made one day ahead

Pickled carrots

  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 3 1/2- by 1/3-inch sticks
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Carrot raisin salad

  • 8 large carrots, peeled, and grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 large beet, peeled, and grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 cup (3 handfuls) raisins
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

Roasted carrots

  • 12 carrots about an inch in diameter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the pickled carrots: Blanch carrots in a 4-quart nonreactive saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer carrots to a heatproof bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over carrots and cool, uncovered. Chill carrots, covered, at least 1 day for flavors to develop. Pickled carrots may keep in airtight contain in refrigerator for up to one month.

For the carrot salad: Combine all ingredients well, using your fingers to toss and coat the carrots thoroughly. Transfer to dish and refrigerate overnight, allowing the raisins to plump and the carrots and beets to take on flavor.

For the roasted carrots: Preheat oven to 400. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss slices in a bowl with the butter, maple syrup, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender. Serve warm.

Plate a petite portion of each carrot dish for each guest in this order: salad, roasted, pickled (raw, cooked, preserved).

Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.

Rirkrit Tiravanija- “Untitled (free)” 1992/2007

March 10, 2010

Untitled (Free)


1992: Vegetables, Rice, Stools, Refrigerator, Cooking Utensils

2007: Vegetables, Rice, Stools, Refrigerator, Cooking Utensils, Remains of 1992 exhibition, Plywood

“Untitled (Free)” pictured here in its 2002 recreation, was first exhibited in 1992 at 89 Greene Street, NYC in the former 303 Gallery Space. For the work, he stripped the gallery, and relocated the bathroom, kitchen, and office making them the central features of his display. He then set up a kitchen and served vegetarian green Thai curry to visitors. In 2002, he constructed a plywood replica of the 1992 space in the David Zwiner gallery where he displayed the stools, utensils, kitchen supplies, and even food refuse he had saved from its original exhibition. On opening night, massive amounts of green curry were served (see above), and throughout the exhibition’s installation rice was made daily and available for self-service to visitors. Exploring art as a mode of creating social interactions, encounters, and situations in its first creation, “Untitled (Free)” in its re-presentation asks how art experiences can be preserved and communicated across time. Tiravanija’s work, influenced by the social sculpture of Joseph Beuys, and the happenings of Fluxus, often takes the form of rooms or interventions for sharing experience. His pieces are often described as part of the relational art movement, defined by French philosopher and art critic Nicolas Bourriaud.

Spicy Vegetarian South-East Asian Green Curry

This recipe offers a means for the (re)creation of “Untitled (free)” using the photos from 2002 to approximate ingredients. Cook and share with friends and strangers, perhaps over a piquant discussion of relational art.

Serves 6-8



  • 2 stalk lemongrass, sliced finely
  • 4 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 6 tablespoons. vegetarian fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 6 green chillies, deseeded
  • 2 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger), peeled and sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (fresh, frozen, in a jar, or dried), snipped into strips or small pieces with scissors
  • 1 loose cup fresh coriander leaves and stems
  • 3 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (use from 2 cans listed below)


  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cans good-quality coconut milk
  • 2 packages firm tofu cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 2 cups fresh holy (or sweet) basil, chopped roughly
  • 1 large yam or sweet potato, cubed


  • 3 cups short- or medium-grain Asian white rice
  • 3 1/2 cups water

To make the green curry paste, place all paste ingredients in a food processor. Add the coconut milk (enough to keep the blades going). Process until smooth.

Place oil in wok or deep frying pan. Turn heat on medium-high and add paste. Stir fry until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add coconut milk. Add tofu and stir until everything is well mixed. Add kaffir lime leaves and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add bell pepper, cauliflower and yam or sweet potato. Cover and cook another 10-20 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Add snow peas, stir, and continue cooking for 2-4 minutes. Do a taste test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add up to 2 tablespoons. more vegetarian fish sauce, soy sauce, or sea salt. If too salty, add a little fresh lime juice. It should be quite spicy. If too spicy, add more coconut milk until desired mildness is reached. Place on a serving platter or in a large serving bowl, keep warm. Sprinkle with fresh basil when ready to serve.

While cooking curry, rinse rice in a fine-mesh sieve until water is almost clear. Drain well and transfer to a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover tightly with lid, then reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Gently fold rice from top to bottom with a spatula before serving.

Serve curry and rice family style in large serving bowls.

Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.

Sam Taylor Wood- “Still Life” (2001)

March 9, 2010

Still Life
Edition of 6
35mm Film/DVD
Duration: 3 minutes 44 seconds

This time-lapse film of peaches ripening and then rotting draws upon the conventions of still life painting, as its title suggests. “Still life” was coined in the 17th century to describe artworks that depict inanimate, household objects and very frequently food. The term first implied painting, but has now come to encompass photography and digital artworks. Paintings of peaches by Fede Galizia, Renoir, and Cezanne all offer familiar iterations of the genre which depict perishable objects in an eternally preserved state. Sam Taylor Wood’s work examines what is not ‘still’ about the still life. The four minutes which collapse the decay of a bowl of peaches foregrounds the inevitable passage of time, perishability, mortality, and disappearance. Wood’s photography and film often deals with similar themes, though with the exception of second film, “A Little Death” (2002), usually examines transience and temporality, preservation and death through the human subject.

For more Sam Taylor Wood check out White Cube.

Peach and Arugula Salad with Blue Cheese

This recipe encompasses the various stages of decay depicted by “Still Life”– ripe peaches move closer to decomposition through cooking and encounter the mold of the film in the form of blue cheese

Serves 6-8

  • 2 1/2 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh (or a pinch dried) thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 firm-ripe peaches (1 1/2 lb total)
  • 1/4 lb thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz baby arugula (6 cups)
  • 2 1/2 oz finely crumbled blue cheese
  • Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • Whisk together first 4 ingredients in small bowl.

    Peel peaches, cut each into 6 wedges. Wrap prosciutto around each wedge so that the peach is entirely covered by meat. Heat remaining oil in skillet until hot but not smoking. Cook wedges in batches until prosciutto is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Keep warm until served.

    Divide arugula and warm peach wedges amongst plates. Dress with emulsified dressing. Sprinkle with blue cheese and fresh pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

    Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.