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Turkeys carcasses in the Brooklyn Museum’s Beaux-Arts Court (via Cont. Confections/Nicole J. Caruth Flickstream)

Curator, critic, and blogger Nicole J. Caruth didn’t attend last week’s food gala at the Brooklyn Museum but she did get in for the after party. During her post-bacchanalia visit she was able to shoot the remains of the food orgy. The images are utterly surreal when juxtaposed against the European paintings in the distance.

She writes, “ … I was looking at piles of cooked rabbits and mangled pig carcasses in the third-floor Beaux-Arts Court. I heard from a few meat lovers on staff that even they found this scene disturbing.”

I think someone at the Brooklyn Museum needs to start circulating a copy of Food, Inc. to the staff.

Visit Flickr for her complete set of images.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

16 replies on “Brooklyn Museum’s “Art-ocrats” Ball: The Remains”

  1. I found this whole thing pretty revolting. I’m not sure what they were thinking. I didn’t attend, but as a non-meat eater, the idea of carving up carcasses frankly makes me sick. This picture shows what a waste this sort of thing is. I hope the excess “food” was donated to a food bank.

  2. I found the whole thing absolutely disgusting- not only the thinking behind it but the people who participated.

  3. The tone of this post is quite different from mine. I’ve updated my original text to emphasize something else I wrote about Rubell that I had only linked to before: In a recent panel discussion on gluttony in art, Rubell addressed her use of food as a medium, acknowledging that her work “looks a lot like gluttony,” a term with “an extreme moral component.” But she’s not interested in morals around food. Rather, Rubell is drawn to food’s aesthetic and psychological properties. I think you have to keep this in mind when looking at her installation or the remains of it. This is what I was thinking about when I took these images. The leftover carcasses were hard to look at, yes, but hypnotizing at the same time. I think Rubell’s work with food is very interesting — not a waste.

    1. I appreciate your assessment, Nicole. But if she would like it to function like art then she cannot control its interpretation. She might think it is about gluttony but I would agree it is more about decadence and insensitivity.

  4. I’m not suggesting that Rubell can control one’s reading of her work, but that there are other ideas to consider alongside and independent from yours.

    1. I’d be really curious if she actually writes “artist” on her tax return. I would be willing to accept she is one (though not a good one from what I’ve seen) if she did that.

  5. The sheer waste that all of that appears to be makes it pretty unappealing as art. Chucking 12 full turkeys is more shocking to me than a Francis Bacon. Dutch food still lives do a better trade in commentary on gluttony, and without the literal leftovers.

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