A dinner will be held at the Kunstmuseen Krefeld in the year 2044, to which the Brazilian artist Laura Lima has already extended an invitation. Approximately 40 meals will be cooked in the kitchen of Haus Lange in 2019, packed in wood crates of the type used to store artworks in museums and treated to preserve for (at least) 25 years. As is often the case in Laura Lima’s artistic practice, the manufacturing process carried out by third persons is an integral component of this work: “I am constructing an atmosphere for others to perform” is how she describes the arrangements with which she examines human behavior, gestures and social interactions, thus making it possible to re-experience the everyday. In consultation with the artist, the team of the salt’n’pepper catering firm in Krefeld developed ten meals to be cooked one after the other in public several times a week and then preserved using a special process. Fresh simple ingredients like legumes and vegetables are first cooked and then either freeze-dried and shrink-wrapped or preserved according to traditional methods in mason jars.
When Eat Art developed in the nineteen sixties from an innovative artistic occupation with everyday life and the body, work with the edible was targeted at the direct link between human existence and the visualization of decay and temporality that turned the conventional concept of art on its head. Laura Lima proceeds from this tradition. The focus, however, is placed less on food itself as an object than on conceptual ideas and social questions arising primarily from the temporal dimension of her project. Lima often and very deliberately makes use of unpredictable factors and uncertainties, integrating long periods of time as well as the actions of the public or even animals into her work.
Meet me in 2044 very directly poses questions about our possible future. We do not know if we will live long enough to take part in the meal or what life will look like at that time. Catastrophic scenarios of the future as well as topical global questions can be associated with the food crate that survives as a work of art in the museum’s storage facility. At a time when profit is given preference over sustainability, when resources are exploited, the rainforests are burnt down and food is destroyed by the ton, this painstaking act of preservation appears like an archaic ritual in opposition to the throw-away society. These emergency provisions cannot ensure our survival — but they generate a forceful image that puts our everyday actions to the test.
Laura Lima (born 1971, lives and works in Rio de Janeiro) has attained international recognition for her conceptual works veering between performance, sculpture and installation with which she explores the boundaries between the everyday and the absurd, fiction and reality, often with the participation of third persons. Alongside numerous international group shows, she has had solo exhibitions at such institutions as the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the Fondazione Prada in Milan, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich and the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht.