It’s a meal that many New Yorkers eat out of plastic containers at a desk, hunched over an LED screen—and like other meals, it’s one we often eat alone. But a trio of artists are cooking up an exhibition in Bushwick that might make you think harder about lunch.
Angela Conant, Beka Goedde and Rachel Ostrow have often worked together in their capacity as artists and print-makers, but their collaborative mental labor frequently takes place in a less-than-formal context. “We find ourselves brainstorming together over meals,” says Conant, laughing. “And it made sense with all of our work, that there’s a relationship between that banal and daily act and the objecthood in some of our work.”
It just so happened that Ostrow had a series of plates she made, painted and glazed in France at a ceramic studio, and Goedde’s still lifes had referenced daily objects—even, in one case, a lunch setting. Meanwhile, Conant herself was working on an idea for a table installation.
So when the trio were invited by John Gilliland and Jennifer Waverek (manager and guest curator respectively) to collaborate on an exhibition at Bushwick Cooperative, they jumped at the chance. “We imagined combining our work together—installing our pieces so that they have true relationships to one another,” says Conant.
The resulting exhibition—titled, unambiguously, LUNCH—is what Conant calls “more of a deconstructed lunch table setting.” The topsy-turvy combination of the artists’ work involves a tablecloth on the wall and plates on the floor, Conant informs me, adding an absurdist edge to the quotidian scene.
“It’s not as much about the food as it is about the act of convening,” says Conant. “It’s not a food-based show, it’s more about the things that go along with this daily act of convening and regrouping and sharing the place that you are at the same time each day—reassessing each other’s place.”
Although Conant assures me that the show is not a social comment on the breakdown of the daily family meal, she adds that “while [LUNCH] is humorous, it’s also reverent of the value of that.”
Join the artists for an opening reception on Sunday, even if you have multiple other art openings to attend in the evening (and Conant assures me that there are many)—if only for the trio of primary-colored punches that have been created especially for the event. One punch will even be kid-friendly.
Now, that’s what I call a family meal.
The opening reception will be held Sunday, September 7, from 3-5pm, at Bushwick Cooperative (267 Irving Avenue). LUNCH will be on show through October 10th. The gallery’s September hours are Saturday/Sunday noon to 6:00pm and by appointment.