Eating in MoMA’s Contemporary Galleries

“Untitled” (Placebo), Felix Gonzales-Torres, 2001

I highly recommend it right now. I went to MoMA slightly hungry, battled the crowds and opted to tour the contemporary galleries rather than face the masses in the permanent collection or new Diego Rivera exhibition. I chose well. In the shimmering installation by Felix Gonzales-Torres, visitors are invited to take a piece of candy from the pile which is eventually replenished. It is slowly depleted, to be refilled later, and was created after the artist’s partner died of AIDS-related complications in 1991.

Continuing on, the art gets better in terms of fullness. Not only did I get a piece of silver-wrapped candy, but I was next served green curry.

Curry from Untitled (Free/Still)Rirkrit Tiravanija, 1992

Yes, that’s right. I stood in line for a bowl of very decent green curry in a section of the gallery turned into a room-like space by a plywood frame and temporary walls and furniture. Rirkrit Tiravanija’s piece Untitled (Free/Still) first went up in 1992 at 303 Gallery, and the museum recently acquired it. You can check it out from noon to 3 p.m. most days through February 8.

Food as a medium in an installation or performance is something I feel I’ve seem more of in the past few years. Jennifer Rubell for instance has done some notable performance/installations involving food, like thecheese head at the Brooklyn Museum of Art or the more recent Art Basel Miami breakfast. However her works never seem nearly as appetizing as what’s at MoMA now.

Also check out: Five for Friday: Works that Look Good Enough to… for more of the museum’s edible works.

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