Collapsing the Dinner Conversation
metal, ice, water, wine, raw clay, spaghetti, flowers, performed by Lucero Aguirre and Matt Smith, documented by Benjamin Lee Hernstrom and Dakota Nanton, 3’ x 6’ x 3’, 2016
In Collapsing the Dinner Conversation, a raw clay table is situated in a bed of water. Two performers (servers) set the table with ice-plates (full of spaghetti) and ice wine/water glasses (filled with wine and water). The plates and glasses melt, the servers replace them—stack another plate on the mound of spaghetti or a second glass on the puddle of wine/water. Eventually, the table collapses, the objects slide off, and the table continues to decompose in the bed of water, leaving the two wooden chairs to confront each other. I look at the table-scape as a site of layered conversation tied to food and etiquette. The piece does not function didactically, but the collapse represents spaces where convention is breached: the more transparent moments in a relationship, when one is forced to confront the other.