Putting It All On The Table Favorite 

The following description is taken from an article that appeared on the unreasonable.is website (see link below):

on January 24, 2014, a gallery exhibit opened in New York for the express purpose of inspiring people to think differently about food, it’s safety and our relationship to it. The artists were the 25 first year students in the MFA Design for Social Innovation program at SVA in New York. Each student was given a wooden table (and chairs if they wanted them). Without changing the size or shape of the table, the assignment was to create a three-dimensional sculpture that represents food and a social issue of importance to them.

The work reflected the international perspectives of the artists who come from 12 different countries. And most of it had a wonderful sense of humor: A shrine to the “cronut” made a point of mocking our worship of fads and our fast food culture, a table turned into a faux foosball game illustrated the seemingly un-winnable mismatch between small farmers and big agriculture. Two pieces dealt with weight problems in obvious and subtle ways: one by literally making the table and chair “fat”, the other by weighing each person who sat down as a reminder of what it’s like to have anorexia. Another table illustrated the bureaucracy and red tape in India that keeps rice out of the mouths of the poor people who need it. And one Japanese student made her own small gallery of “last meals” as an eerie reminder of the death penalty. Not to mention a table grown from mushrooms and a customized Halal truck.

Food is a primary concern for everything that lives, regardless of where one is on the food chain. Food systems and food safety are central to social innovation – essential to solving issues of poverty, health, economics, justice and environment. “Putting it all on the table” is an expression that means to be completely transparent and forthright – in communication, it’s not holding back on the real issues.

And art, as has been proven since the first caveperson picked up a Windsor and Newton sable-tooth tiger haired brush, has the power to transform – perhaps far greater than the stuff we’re trying now.

Posted by Yoav Halperin on