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Fruit Picnic

“Don’t open it with you hands, use your head to open it.” “No, it only works on someone else’s head.” In Erin Gleeson’s witty and intimate video, artists Vandy Rattana, Lim Sokchanlina, Khvay Samnang, and Vuth Lyno—members of the collective Stiev Selapak (Art Rebels)—enjoy a leisurely picnic in a forest clearing, using the occasion to share myths and stories associated with characteristic Cambodian foods. Tracing connections between cultures and languages through cultivation and cuisine, the group reveals the breadth and subtlety of meaning that is often encoded in the most outwardly simple ingredients and dishes. “My friend asked me why the Khmer offer bananas to the spirits. A good answer is that it is a tradition. But in reality, banana is the cheapest.”

  • MichaelJWilson

    In 2009, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, hosted a discussion titled “Eat, Sleep, and Pray: Everyday Rituals and Contemporary Art” that suggested some possible themes along these lines. “Ever closing the gap between art and life,” wrote the organizer, “many contemporary artists incorporate everyday rituals, from kissing to cooking to teaching and talking, into their pieces. As a result, they transform the environments in which they situate their work—and the people whom they engage—into parts of the work itself.” The discussion featured artists Tino Sehgal and Lee Mingwei, and is downloadable as an MP3 at: http://www.moma.org/audio_file/audio_file/1681/05-28-09-artistspeaksCVTD.mp3