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Din Din: Recalling Bitterness Tasting Menu and Film Screening
June 26, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm UTC-5
This program is the closing event for Din Din, a series of free, socially-distanced outdoor public events which use food and art to build community.
Location: 39-22 29th St, Long Island City
9 – 10pm – Short film and video art program featuring:
Julia Hechtman “ONLY US”
Phyllis Ma “Trip the Fruit Fantastic”
Robbie Samuels “Hip Hop Cafe”
Zina Saro-Wiwa “Table Manners (Season 2): Dorcas Eats Roasted Snails and Drinks Maltina”
Rebecca Shapass “Eggless”
Dana Sherwood “Feral Cakes”
Tobias Rud “Sweetie O’s”
Forest Juziuk “Briars: I’m not good looking but my mother gave me something”
Recalling Bitterness Tasting Menu
Siri Lee’s “Recalling Bitterness Tasting Menu” satirizes the Cultural Revolution ritual of “Recalling Bitterness and Savoring Sweetness.” Emerging shortly after a period of unprecedented famine, this hypocritical ritual was designed to contrast the “bitterness” of life before the Communist Party took power with the “sweetness” of life under its rule. In Siri Lee’s reinterpretation of this ritual, she instead designed a contemporary “Recalling Bitterness Tasting Menu,” with each “dish” serving a story of famine and food shortages under the Maoist regime.
Heather Kapplow creates participatory experiences that elicit unexpected intimacies using objects, alternative interpretations of existing environments, installation, performance, writing, audio and video.
“Breakaway” consists of a varied series of audience-enacted gestures woven into multiple Din Din events. It is ritual activity that conflates the notion of theatrical breakaway props — things designed to be destroyed without hurting anyone — with the idea of freedom obtained by breaking away from dysfunctional patterns rooted in traumas from the past.
Julia Hechtman, “ONLY US”, 5:40
In this multi-channel video installation, the artist ritualistically covers her hands with, and consumes fragments of, her mother’s ashes.
Forest Juziuk “Briars: I’m not good looking but my mother gave me something”, 12:00
“Briars” is an experimental soap opera based on the true story of a small group of men living in community apartments in 1980s Southeast Michigan. This episode, entitled “I’m Not Good Looking But My Mother Gave Me Something,” consists of a single breakfast-for-dinner scene, approximately two minutes in length, in which two newly acquainted friends discuss the meal. There is Otis, who recently moved to town from parts unknown, and Junior, the host and chef.
Phyllis Ma “Trip the Fruit Fantastic”, 3:09
Dragonfruits, watermelon and other fruits come to life in this musical stop motion video. (music by Landen Griffith).
Robbie Samuels “Hip Hop Cafe”, 4:20
Hip Hop Cafe is a film entirely made from golden age rap lyrics.
Zina Saro-Wiwa “Table Manners (Season 2): Dorcas Eats Roasted Snails and Drinks Maltina”, 6:47
Table Manners (2019) is a continuation of the ongoing video series that sees individuals in the Niger Delta giving an eating performance for Zina’s camera. The viewer is encouraged to sit down and enjoy the meal with the eaters. All the performers in the series use their hands to eat. At the end of each film the place of the filming is stated. This documentation simply serves to highlight that “an important ritual has taken place”. Saro-Wiwa states: “A powerful exchange takes place when one not only eats a meal but watches a meal being consumed. One is filled up with an unexplainable and potent metaphysical energy that we normally pay no attention to.” This work places a spotlight on and radicalizes this invisible force. The documentation of the meal and the place it was consumed forces the viewer to also ingest the names and cultural realities surrounding the oil production in the Niger Delta. Realities that are usually ignored or erased.
Rebecca Shapass “Eggless”, 10:19
Inspired by Betty Crocker’s marketing strategy (developed by Freud-devotee Edward Bernays) to have housewives “add an egg” to their cakes, “Eggless” is a meditation on fertility & worship through the lens of eggs as a commercialized symbol of rebirth, an erotic object, and an American diet staple.
Dana Sherwood “Feral Cakes”, 6:28
While residing deep within the suburban sprawl of South Florida Sherwood began setting out fruits, vegetables, meats, cakes and other confectionery concoctions for the local animal inhabitants. The menus grew from a knowledge of the natural diet of animals such as raccoons, foxes, possums and other creatures she expected to find living along the borders of human habitation. Filming over the days, weeks and months Sherwood began to get to know the preferences and predilections of their régimes, and a conversation started to emerge as she watched the videos each morning from the previous nights banquet and adjusted, tweaked and tested them.
Tobias Rud “Sweetie O’s”, 4:00
A lonely middle-aged man becomes obsessed with a brand of children’s cereal, that takes him back to his carefree childhood in his mother’s warm embrace.Animated traditionally with pencil and paper.
Julia Hechtman is a multi-disciplinary artist, who makes works about place, absence, identification/identity and mortality.
Forest Juziuk is an American artist and writer. Taking inspiration from soap operas, YA novels, and TV sketch comedy, he works with devices familiar and suggestive to explore memory sensation. His work has appeared in the magazine The Minus Times (Drag City), and the books The Minus Times Collected (Featherproof) and J&L Illustrated #2 (J&L). He also co-authored the chapter “The ‘Why’ of Arts Organizations in the DIY Era” in the book 20under40: Re-inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century.
Siri Lee is an NYC-based interdisciplinary visual storyteller. A potluck of research, mixed media, and speculative fiction, Lee’s work deploys image and wordplay to visualize analogies between material culture and ideology. A recent graduate from the University of Chicago, Lee has been selected for inclusion in Project Anywhere’s Global Exhibition Program, 2020; been an artist-in-residence at Residency Unlimited in New York, 2020; and received the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Alumni Microgrant, 2019. Her work has been exhibited in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.
Phyllis Ma is a New York-based artist working in photography and animation. She studied visual arts at Columbia College, Columbia University, as well as printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art and fashion design at FIT. Her recent works include Special Nothing, a book of travel still lifes, and Mushrooms & Friends, a photography series featuring foraged and cultivated mushrooms. Phyllis’s work has been profiled in The New York Times, It’s Nice That and Sight Unseen. Select commercial clients include Netflix, Vice, Lazy Oaf, SSENSE and A24.
Robbie Samuels is a Black-British multi-award-winning advertising-creative, writer and director. Hip Hop Cafe was a passion project, and his love letter to the golden age of Hip Hop.
Zina Saro-Wiwa is an artist working primarily with video but also photography, sculpture, sound and food. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York as well as running a practice in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where she founded the contemporary art gallery Boys’ Quarters Project Space for which she regularly curates. Saro-Wiwa is one of Foreign Policy Magazine’s Global Thinkers of 2016recognized for her work in the Niger Delta. She was Artist-in-Residence at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn 2016-2017 and in April 2017 was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts.
Rebecca Shapass is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist from New York City. She works to create bio-mythographic, audio-visual worlds where the fissures between personal and collective memory are mined to reveal fragile systems of perception and remembering. Her work has been screened and exhibited with institutions and festivals including Microscope Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Knockdown Center (Queens, NY), Open Signal (Portland, OR), amongst others. She has participated in residencies including Smack Mellon (Brooklyn, NY), Signal Culture (Owego, NY), and Crosstown Arts (Memphis, TN). Currently, she is pursuing her MFA at Carnegie Mellon University.
Dana Sherwood has exhibited throughout The Americas, Europe and Australia including solo exhibitions at the Florence Griswold Museum, Nagle-Draxler Reiseburogalerie (Cologne), Denny Dimin Gallery (New York) and Kepler Art-Conseil (Paris). Her work has also been shown at Storm King (New York), The Jack Shainman School, The Fellbach Sculpture Triennial (Germany), Pink Summer Gallery (Italy), Kunsthal Aarhus, The Palais des Beaux Arts Paris, Marian Boesky Gallery, Socrates Sculpture Park, Flux Factory, The Biennial of Western New York, Prospect 2: New Orleans, Scotia Bank Nuit Blanche (Toronto), dOCUMENTA 13, and many other venues worldwide.