A hole in the back wall of the Rubell Family Collection leads to a derelict property, belonging to New York-based artist Jennifer Rubell. Rubell has been known for lending food an artistic voice.
It was just recently, in April 2010, that the artist presented the Brooklyn Museum in New York with an unconventional approach to a catering service, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. It is needless to say expectations on her project for Art Basel Miami were high and highly culinary. Rubell did not fail to amaze: she brought together classic literature, morals, porridge and art, in striking symbiosis under her own roof.
The Breakfast House installation entitled "Just Right" provides visitors with an unusual entrance to a yet to be explored territory. Rubell's house, deprived of physical boundaries such as windows and doors, functions as the embodiment of Robert Southey's legendary morality tale of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears."
Upon squeezing through the bashed out hole in Don and Mera Rubell's concrete wall, the visitor is drawn into an interactive installation: a breakfast journey set up throughout the different rooms of Jennifer Rubell's house. 750 white bowls, 750 spoons and 36 crock pots with hot, steamy porridge are set out on pristine white pedestals to emphasize what is stereotypical for displaying modern art.
Whilst strolling through the piece, the shiny cutlery and untainted crockery is in glaring contrast with an old toilet facility, disconnected pipes and gaping holes in the concrete walls. In keeping with the moral of Southey's tale, the interactive aspect of the installation is plausible, as the contrast between old and new, absence and presence puts 'possession' in a questionable light. Much like Goldilocks, the visitor is an intruder, there is no sign of the rightful owner upon entering the property, nor is there any indication that the porridge should or should not be consumed.
By wandering through the different rooms, the visitor undergoes the different stages of Goldilocks's arrival, which to Rubell reflects the process of contemporary art making, where a path is set out for you to "go into the world, do what you need to do, decide what you want and get away with it."
Text by Seyna Van Der Linden, Researcher at Crane.tv.
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