On Thursday 1st June, The Artist Dining Room is returning to celebrate the life and work of the internationally acclaimed artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude. For this night only we will be joining creative forces with chef and food anthropologist Rachel Karasik and mixed media artist Laura Yuile, to bring you a unique dining experience. Objects and sculptural forms inspired by the small and large scale works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude will set the scene for dinner; whilst Audio / Visual interventions throughout the meal will reflect upon the often temporary and transient nature of both their projects and the art and labour of food.
Once again, the supper club will provide more than just a feast for the palate, it will be a feast for the eyes, ears and imagination. The diners will indulge in a delicious four-course menu and experience an edible retrospective encounter with some of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s most recognised and iconic works. Not only will the menu expose styles, themes and narratives within their work, it will also take the diners on a journey into the cuisines of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Bulgarian and Moroccan roots.
The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16 Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2016 Christo
Guest Chef: Rachel Karasik
Rachel is a freelance chef and food anthropologist based in London. In 2012, she set up The Bream Team, a popup specializing in hosting dinners in unusual spaces, cooking and curating events everywhere from the top of St Pancras clock tower, to building sites, a former car garage, offices, the Barbican, rooftops and historic homes. Her menus focus on how food can be used to influence diners’ interactions with each other, their environment, and conceptual themes, while still respecting the seasonality and integrity of ingredients. She has collaborated on interdisciplinary projects like ‘Table for Two’ as part of The Intimacy Lab as part of Hack the Barbican - where visitors could choose sit down with a stranger, or a friend, for an aphrodisiac-fueled meal; ‘Bittersweet Frequencies’ - a collaboration with artists and architects to coincide with an exhibition by Sto Werkstatt to create a three night immersive dining experience exploring sound; and a canapé menu for The Architecture Foundation’s 25th anniversary, inspired by the architectural details and held in Peter Salter’s still under construction residential project, Walmer Yard.
Rachel started out at university studying museum curation and art theory at Central Saint Martins, and that curatorial thinking has continued to influence the method with which she approaches food. In 2014/15, she completed an MA in Anthropology of Food at SOAS, and and has since presented at UCL’s Food Drinks and Civilization conference, and written for The Centre for London’s London Essays. In 2015 she was also part of Chefs of Tomorrow - a programme to highlight rising cooking talent in the UK.
Package on a Table, 1961. Photo: Eeva-Inkeri © 1961 Christo
Guest Host: Laura Yuile
Laura Yuile is an artist based in London. Her work spans objects, video and performance and operates around a network of connections and transitions between different types of space: domestic, public, corporate, psychological and virtual. Recycled and degraded images meet with readymade objects and perishable materials such as flour, soap, oil or coffee; an exploration of consumerist digestion, states of perishability and their relation to meaning and value, class and taste. The body and the domestic sphere is explored as a primary, sensual site from which the effects of global systems and invisible infrastructures are felt.
Laura will graduate from the MFA at Goldsmiths this summer and in 2015 she was an Associate Artist at Open School East. Her recent exhibitions include Homesick, T-Space, Milan; A Place For You To Dream, Republic, London; Zed Mot, Generation & Display, London; Ludicrously Ideal and Beautifully Placed, Generator, Dundee; SculpturParcours, The Wiener Art Foundation at Parallel, Vienna; and World Interiors, Savoy Centre for Glasgow International, Glasgow. She has undertaken residencies with Space / The White Building, London; Temporary Art Platform, Beirut, and IOAM, Beijing.
Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1968-69
Photo: Harry Shunk © 1969 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were an artist duo who created monumentally scaled site-specific sculptural artworks and installations that often utilised the technique of draping or wrapping large portions of existing landscapes and architecture. They were born on the same day in June 1935, Christo in Bulgaria and Jeanne-Claude in Morocco, and first met in Paris in 1958 whilst Christo was painting a portrait for Jeanne-Claude’s mother.
Their artworks were controversial in scale and were deliberately temporary to enhance their value, beauty and intensity and aimed to serve no other function than to create gentle disturbances to the everyday and to offer new ways of seeing familiar landscapes. Often made of specially engineered fabric, their sculptural works were environmentally viable and recycled at the end of each project. Whilst often claiming that their projects did not contain any deeper meaning than their initial aesthetic impact, the reactions from audiences and critics worldwide have long recognised the broader commentary of their practice, with themes ranging from environmental deterioration to references of the Cold War and twentieth century history.
Their most renowned works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1971-75, the Pont-Neuf in Paris, the 24-mile long artwork called Running Fence in California and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park. Jeanne-Claude sadly passed away at the ages of 74 in 2009, but Christo continues their work.