Listings

    No events to show

Follow

Twitter

|

Facebook

|

MySpace

|

Last.fm

RSS

Subscribe

Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Anarchidinner, an Experimental Banquet by Companis at the Barbican: a review

On Thursday 28th April the Companis art group staged an interactive performance-led meal served up by professional chefs. Anarchidinner took place in the Barbican Garden Room, where we sat around long communal tables.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Anarchidinner-by-Claire-Sells-splotd
Anarchidinner by Claire Sells.

I loved the art exhibition Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, tadalafil New York 1970s, visit web currently showing at the Barbican, so when an offer was extended for me to join a live performance inspired by Matta-Clark’s Food project how on earth could I refuse? I arrived at the entrance to the Barbican roof gardens and upon entry was motioned to don a disposable plastic raincoat so that I could enjoy some entertainingly served aperitifs, gin and tonic squirted over umbrellas into the brave mouths of those who stepped forward. I declined when I saw the stinging eyes and instead set off to explore the top floor garden.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Only some time later did I realise that the bizarre film being made in the jungle was nowt to do with Anarchidinner but was instead a live film project from Lucky PDF. Unfortunately this meant that I missed the first bit of performance art and arrived at my seat to find a molten stream of honeycomb spattered down the centre of the communal table, metal implements embedded inside.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

At the head of the room the professional chefs were staged on a raised platform with microphones and industrial kitchen equipment. Once our St. George’s Mushroom Soup and axe-hacked bread had been served the boiler suit clad waiters surrounded us with drill bits and microphones, attacking the the table underside and creating a cacophony over which I chatted to my neighbours. This was a Spectacle titled Handphone Soup, an ‘aural and visual stimulation’ inspired by Laurie Anderson.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

The main course involved a ‘sawn roast belly of pork’ which left me regretting that I had not asked for a veggie option, but I did very much enjoy the ruby red apple rings, potatoes pummelled with a soft mallet and gravy applied with an industrial funnel.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Alejandra Espino
Anarchidinner by Alejandra Espino.

Part two of Accumulative Gestures, after Trisha Brown, involved some fairly freestyle hand waving from our erstwhile waiters, before the final denouement of Incendiary Wafers, after Gordon Matta-Clark. The large slabs of blow torched minty marshmallow were designed to eat with the honeycomb, but alas our table had decided that this was an avante garde starter and we were already operating on hyperactive sugar overload having demolished the lot before we started on soup.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

I had worried inordinately about sitting on my own for supper but one of the highlights of Anarchidinner was sharing a meal with new friends. The aim of Companis‘ work is ‘to push the boundaries of the diners’ comfort and expectations, the end result being one of spectacular encounter’. The end result was often amusing and at times uncomfortable, but it definitely could have been more spectacular… I would have liked there to have been more of a climax instead of what felt like a fading away as guests drifted homeward.

Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory
Anarchidinner by Companis at Barbican 2011-Photography by Amelia Gregory

If you’re going to do things back to front why not go the whole hog? On my way out I had a sneaky squirt of alcoholic aperitif with my new found friends. I hope that their later partying went with a bang.

Anarchidinner by Fawn Carr
Anarchidinner by Fawn Carr.

If the Anarchidinner concept tickles your fancy why not read my review of Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s? It runs until the 22nd of May 2011 and there are performances daily.

Tags:

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

One Response to “Anarchidinner, an Experimental Banquet by Companis at the Barbican: a review”

  1. [...] illustration for Amelia Gregory’s review of Anarchidinner, an art event at the Barbican Gallery in London. Esta entrada fue publicada en Ilustraciones y [...]

Leave a Reply