Elaine Tin Nyo. <i>Three Legged Pig</i>. 1998–2011. Video still; 20 minute loop

On Meat and Mortality

Artist Elaine Tin Nyo and Heather Hess

Monday, April 22, 2013, 12:30–1:15 p.m.

Education Classroom B, mezzanine, The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building

Art in the Long View at Lunchtime
In conversation with artists and MoMA Lecturers, explore long-term, process-based art and its impact on the experience of art. While many artists establish concrete goals, the processes we are interested in examining may span the lifetime of the artist, require ongoing participation or discussion, and be linked more to research and exploration than to a pre-established plan. Bring your lunch and discover how these challenges to the constraints of time and the expectations of final product and finality force viewers and participants to reconsider the role of art in society. This series serves as an incubator of ideas in advance of our upcoming Contemporary Art Forum on May 2 and 3.

On Meat and Mortality is a performance in the form of a food seminar led by artist Elaine Tin Nyo and interpreted by art historian Heather Hess. Through the use of live and video demonstrations the artist will open a discussion about our personal hierarchies with regard to eating animals and the value of animal life as a mirror on our own mortality. This interactive program will include: a knife skills demonstration, simple cooking and charcuterie concepts, and the tasting of various types of flesh. A cultural and aesthetic history of meat will provide context to the seminar. The discussion will include practical cooking skills as well as broader philosophical implications with regards to art and life. Meat raises the question of time in very specific ways: meat can be cured in several weeks, while the lifecycle of turning a pig into pork can vary from less than a year to more than five years, or, in the case of Elaine Tin Nyo’s project of transforming herself into a sausage, the process lasts a lifetime. These inherent qualities of decay and decomposition, as well as life and death, embodied by meat and its consumption also provides an opportunity to consider Dieter Roth, Joseph Beuys, Carolee Schneemann, and other time-based works on view in the Museum.

Elaine Tin Nyo is a conceptual artist who has kept a studio and kitchen in New York since 1984. She received a BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University. Her culinary education consists of the voracious study of cookbooks and practical experience alongside professional chefs and artisans around the world. She has cooked, performed, and exhibited internationally. Her current project, This Little Piggy, is the recipient of a 2013 Creative Capital Grant.

Heather Hess (PhD, Rutgers University), a specialist in central European decorative art and printmaking, studies the aesthetic, cultural, and social practices of food in art and at the table, especially the carving of meat. She is a lecturer at The Museum of Modern Art.

Tickets are free but required and can be acquired on a first-come first-served basis online or at the information desk, the Film desk after 4:00 p.m., or at the Education and Research Building reception desk on the day of the program.

To pick up tickets acquired online, proceed to the Education and Research Building reception desk at 4 West 54 Street beginning at noon on the day of the program.