SPREAD 2, AT THE ART SHOP GALLERY

DURING ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL
14th -16th September 2007

At the second outing of ‘Spread’, Kitchen Antics and Appliances presented a live unfolding installation in The Art Shop Gallery as part of The Abergavenny Food Festival. The work of Kitchen Antics and Appliances continued its exploration of the possibilities of home and group identity. What makes a group gel, how do groups work, how does a piece of work exist in time and create a moment of communication?

The advent of the virtual world and video games have killed off such games as scrabble, monopoly and Cluedo. Activities such as blind mans buff, often played by children, perform a fuction in developing a communal sense of momentary identity. In the past singing and story telling were central in wiling away the hours. In the various unfolding performances, Kitchen Antics explored notions of belonging and exclusion, unity and separation, identity and difference through the games format, participatory discussion and story telling. .

Their response to site and environment continued with the ‘table’ presented as a central focus for the work, a stage. a frame and ‘welcome’ for the audience. The ‘table’ alludes to memory, questions concerning traditions such as manners and conformity. However this scene is made strange, by formal settings of discordant china, strangely matching yet disparate, suggesting a discontinuation of lineage, continuity and history.
 
The performances unravel over the three days, revolving around a series of interventions and engagements with the invited audiences. The artists work instigate plots and strategies - cautionary tales and parlour games to further explore the notions of belonging and exclusion. These are mobilised into group activities in which the audience, no longer restricted by the protocols and politeness of social engagement, become central performers in the events.

Various individual and collaborative events took place during the weekend of the food festival.

Chopping Onions invitation to cry an interactive performance by Barbara Dean Hilary
Rosie Lee Ceremony, an interactive performance by Hilary Kneale
The Office for the dissemination of sympathy an interactive performance by Ann Rapstoff
a menu of conversations
storytelling
a continuum of whispers
a chorus for hosts and audience of sayings concerning food
tea and sympathy
three blind mice and knitting for the guillotine
instructions for living
labelling for life

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