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Expat in Germany: Eat Art Exhibition in Stuttgart

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eat Art Exhibition in Stuttgart

I like art, but I'm by no means an art historian or all that knowledgeable about art, so it comes as no surprise that I had never heard of "Eat Art" until I saw the big sign on the Kuntsmuseum (art museum) in Stuttgart which I walk by every day.  Fortunately, the Met Club organized a tour of "Eat Art" with an English guide who was excellent.  He was very knowledgeable, but not stuffy,  and had a great sense of humour throughout our rather unusual tour.  I got much more out of it than I would have from just going alone, especially since the guide book is all in German and my German is still rather rudimentary.

The photo above shows a kitchen that rotates through the length of the Eat Art exhibition.  Prior to the start of Eat Art, they made a pot of curry, then started to rotate it (hence the mess).  The smell of curry permeates the entire exhibit which was rather unexpected and slightly overpowering
The idea of food as art started in the 1960s with Swiss artist Dieter Roth who would put the remnants of dinner just as they left on the wall such as the one above which you can see at the Eat Art show.  He also liked to use molds of various parts of his body (I'll let you use your imagination) and serve food in these molds.
 These signed glasses/mugs have been collected by Mike Rogers and Dustin Ericksen over 15 years from art openings, lectures, parties, etc from all over the worldThe collection consists of 850 signed pieces and continues to grow and and dated at an Eat Art opening held a couple of years ago and now forms a display at Eat Art in Stuttgart.  I can't say this display was exactly my cup of tea (get it cup of tea - haha), but I did learn a lot about the idea of creating self destructing art (as is the case when you use food as your medium, since it starts to rot), versus the more traditional idea of preserving art. 
  I quite liked this Eat Art display.  It is made of Kartoffelpuffer (German potato pancakes) which were then painstakingly nailed to the wall.  If the pancake broke, which they often did, they used a new one and tried again.  It took about 2 days to nail all the potato pancakes to the wall.  I found myself standing next to an English woman and we both couldn't help noticing the grease stains on the wall and lamented that the wall would like have to be replaced - so I'm sure the artist would argue that I didn't have a full appreciation for the piece.
This Eat Art display makes a statement about over consumption in our diets today with a cart buried in heaps of sugar.  In many ways Eat Art is a very political exhibition (as further evidenced by the videos of people with bulimia throwing up at the end of the exhibition)
The above photo might not look like much, but I wish you could smell it.  It was part of a chocolate room - yep an entire room painted in chocolate.  That might sound nice, but I found the smell quite overpowering.  I seriously think spending a few hours in the chocolate room at the Eat Art show could cure any chocoholic.


The Eat Art exhibition has been slow to catch on with Germans, and perhaps a rather factual review in the paper didn't help either.  Despite the fact that I didn't see any art that was beautiful, in my humble opinion, I quite enjoyed the exhibit, but this in large part since we had such a terrific guide and an enthusiastic group from the Met Club.  My advice would be to go with a guide if you really want to understand what Eat Art is all about and go with an open mind.
For more information on Eat Art.

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9 Comments:

At October 13, 2010 at 5:06 AM , Blogger Julie said...

I've heard about this. I'm gonna have to make my way over to Stuttgart...

 
At October 13, 2010 at 8:57 AM , OpenID christianpaulsen62 said...

This is an interesting presentation of some modern art. I'm normally not a big fan but find this intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Chris

 
At October 13, 2010 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

Julie - it's definitely different.
Thanks for stopping by Chris, it's definitely interesting, although I wouldn't be putting any of it in my house :)

 
At October 13, 2010 at 6:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a really cool review! Opinionated, but not overpoweringly so! I might have to check this out! Thanks!

 
At October 14, 2010 at 6:56 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

Thanks Anonymous. I am definitely not an art expert, but believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, expert or not.

 
At October 14, 2010 at 11:51 AM , Anonymous Bonnie said...

"Eat Art..." How interesting! I've never heard of it before! I also really liked the German potatoe pancake exhibit - although I definitely don't think I would have the patience to nail those to the wall one by one! Thanks for sharing - really interesting show and I enjoyed the photos.

 
At October 15, 2010 at 7:19 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

Bonnie - I hadn't heard of it before either, I also think it would be a tough job for security since the smells are quite intense.

 
At December 30, 2010 at 11:24 AM , Blogger Hardikbv said...

We are lucky to have visited this....
oh,it was juss fantastic...

was communicating more than the pictures...

 
At January 10, 2011 at 5:16 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

@Hardikbv, glad to hear you enjoyed it and agreed the experience can't be shared as well only with photos, especially since the smells were so prominent, especially of chocolate and curry.

 

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