She’s a what? (via

New York Magazine‘s senior art critic has started filing video reports from art events. And on Friday he posted a segment from Brooklyn Museum’s “food art” gala created by “food artist” Jennifer Rubell. Her description of the event is priceless:

It’s an evening, it’s a meal, it’s a kind of performance installation and the idea that as a participant you are forced into that kind of engagement in order to do something very specific which is have a meal. So, you are not allowed to have the usual passive interaction you usually have with art.

So, art is passive? Is she living in the 19th C.? Let’s think of things that contradict her, ummm … the history of performance art, happenings in the 60s, the current Marina Abramović solo show at the MoMA. And then this doozy:

First of all there’s no instruction and there’s no servant.

Wow, so you mean … like the buffet at Denny’s? Is it really radical not to have a servant at a buffet? I don’t know why but I have an overwhelming urge to link to an article we pointed out a little while ago, Leon Neyfakh’s “Bullshit Artists.”

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

18 replies on ““Food Artist” Jennifer Rubell Discovers Servant-less Buffets”

  1. Thank you.
    Sheesh- that idiotic circus- how completely unappetizing, intellectually AND gastronomically.

  2. I can’t resist the “feeding us bullshit” pun. It looked like a fun event, but why sell it as art? Or an even better question, why does NYmag buy into it as art so willingly? Saltz puts up no resistance (but maybe those parts got cut out).

    I imagine that a lot of people who don’t enjoy art would call it “The best art opening I’ve ever been to. Mostly because I didn’t have to look at any art.”

  3. This is the second time I’ve read this. I’m still trying to get over the “no instructions and there’s no servants” line.
    WTF?! indeed.
    Seriously…cause I’d have no clue what to do with all my food if no one instructed me to put it in my mouth. geez louise.
    Maybe you and Paddy need to do a “worst soundbite” award.

  4. the really radical thing for contemporary art is “no servants”…as in no assistants? You mean people have to do things themselves? Collectors and institutions employ (and generally underpay) legions of helpers; even middle of the road artists have ‘project managers’ these days…no wonder we’re supposed to be impressed by ‘no servants’

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