When I started this blog I never imagined it would be crossing into the world of modern art. And likewise, the staff at the Arnolfini never saw me coming. Today, a clashing of cultures was staged; the Far West Cross-Artform Project meets Drinks with Chunks. What better way to introduce our respective audiences to each other?
My intention with this website is to bring the glories of chunk drinking, an unfairly Eastern dominated nourishment source, to a larger audience in the West. This may be slightly tongue in cheek but it is written as a genuine chunk lover, not in the "hey look, aren't foreigners all weird and whacky and different to us" style of my rivals at Crazy Asian Drinks, for example.
Far West explores "the new consumer and cultural relationships that are emerging as the economic centre of the world shifts towards the East."
Pretty much the same mission then.
My thanks go to Viv and Rob at the Arnolfini for seeing and understanding this link and allowing me to document bridge building in action. Also, thanks to my able assistant Jules, for ploughing on with fruit construction whilst I filled out the Copyright Agreement Form.
The Far West exhibition (28 June – 31 August) brings with it S.O.I. Project's Fruit. A market stall filled with folded and glued paper fruit, stuck together by the visitors (and the exhibition staff who beaver away so furiously they don't have space to wrap the artworks visitors buy). In return for their effort in assembling these fiddly cardboard artworks the visitor is rewarded with something far greater than the knowledge of having contributed to an artwork. Merely being able to stand back and say "I did that, that is my work," is simply not enough. No, in the mind of the S.O.I. Project that is not reward enough. They have demonstrated how grateful they are for the public's assistance in the most wonderful way imaginable. They allow you to swap your completed fruit for a chunky Magnosteen Juice Drink!
Now if that's not going to get more people out of their houses, away from the next generation of mindless interactive TV talent show or social-network of people they have never really met, and into an art gallery where artists make statements about the increasingly confusing world around us using increasingly abstract forms, then I don't know what is.
The photographs presented here show the fruit construction process, from flat pack to shelf, and the drink for which the finished product was exchanged.
So to the important bit. "..the parallel debates in both art and commerce around participation, individualism, authorship, labour, and productivity. Is this open participation a form of consumer emancipation? Or, is it the next stage in corporate appropriation?"
No, not that important bit, the other one. What was the drink like.
T.A.S. Brand Mangosteen Juice Drink
The Mangosteen Juice Drink couples a flavour not unlike a mellow pear juice with the fibrous texture of pineapple juice. It was disappointingly chunkless but refreshing and tasty. A note to the artist: More chunks please!