When does a meal become a work of art and vice versa? That’s the central question posed by forthcoming exhibition Tender Touches at Peckham’s AMP Gallery this month. Curated by founding director of Open Space Huma Kabakci and artist Inês Neto dos Santos, the project blurs the lines between art gallery and dining room, masterpiece and… lunch. Every single piece in the multi-sensory “restaurant” has been commissioned from dedicated artists: ceramic plates by Bea Bonafini; paintings of exotic fruits by Magda Skupinska; hand-embroidered aprons by Cecilia Charlton and Goia Mujalli, and more. Best of all? The artfully plated menu developed by Neto dos Santos to reflect her love of seasonal produce, with dishes ranging from blueberry, labneh and thyme on sourdough to dark chocolate mousse with apricot and olive oil.
Launched to coincide with the V&A’s Bigger Than The Plate, the installation is the first in a series known as Edible Goods which will consider food as a “medium for contemporary art practice” in a moment when our diets are under ever greater scrutiny, particularly in terms of their impact on the planet. Kabacki and Neto dos Santos were inspired by Gertrude Stein’s “verbal” Cubist work Tender Buttons (1914), which includes a section of poems dedicated to gastronomy, as well as the artist-run restaurant FOOD launched by Gordon Matta-Clark and Carol Gooden in Manhattan’s Soho, where guests would be served avant-garde dishes such as a plate of bones. A number of further supper clubs and dramatic performances will be held in the AMP Gallery space over the coming month.
Head to Open Space for more details, and get a first glimpse of the installation below before it opens on May 17.