”The Dinner Party”, 2015–16
This project challenges the participatory aspect of art within the framework of a dinner party that stages a choreographed discussion situation while also activating all senses – taste, smell, hearing, seeing, feeling, talking – thereby acting as a catalyst for new thought processes among the participants.
Participatory aspects play a distinctive and crucial part in many of my projects, and this also holds true of my most recent work, Middagsselskabet, created on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of universal suffrage in Denmark. Working in collaboration art historian Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen and fashion historian Kjerstin Vedel, the artist Sophus Ejler Jepsen and I have mapped out and arranged a table setting complete with table cloth, china, flatware and drinking vessels and then proceeded to invite twelve local politicians to carry out a performance in front of an invited audience: a challenging five-course meal featuring five tough questions about equality at local authority level in Denmark. Middagsselskabet overtly references Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party from 1979. In this process I am interested in how I can stage and choreograph a discussion situation while also activating all senses – taste, smell, hearing, seeing, feeling, talking – thereby acting as a catalyst for new thought processes among the participants. Evolving from one site to the next, the project has already been completed in Aarhus and Vejen and will tour Næstved and Svendborg later this year.
Partners: Sophus Ejler Jepsen, Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen, Kjerstin Vedel and Tidens Samling.
Medium: Table with twelve corners, twelve linen-covered stools, patterned linen tablecloth, twelve custom-made china table settings decorate in white and blue glaze, twelve customised sets of flatware, twelve politicians, five questions, five-course meal, loudspeaker, mp3 player.