Jennifer Rubell has been on the receiving end of a pie-five for about nine nights thus far, and she still has 14 more to go. Since Feb. 8, the Meredith Rosen Gallery has been home to Rubell’s Consent, an exhibition of her newest works. Visitors have been invited to admire the artist’s paintings and, while you’re at it, smash a pie into her face.
The food performance piece, called Slapstick, has been Rubell’s live performance debut, but she’s no stranger to the world of interactive and slightly bizarre food art. In Slapstick, Rubell stands atop a pedestal while overlooking a slightly lower pedestal completely covered in cream pies. Each night at 5:30pm, eight visitors are allowed to pick up a pie, walk up to Rubell, have that moment of Am I holding it right Wait how hard am I supposed to do it Oh God am I really about to Okay just go Just… and smush the pie into her face. Writer and man-about-town Anthony Haden-Guest is among those who’ve already taken a crack at it, according to Artnet News.
Even though it might sound silly or even a little cruel, Slapstick isn’t just about throwing pies. According to the gallery, the exhibit is meant to be “a meditation on status, power, vulnerability, privilege, humiliation, shame, dignity, risk, and acceptance, at a time when a questioning of these issues is at the center of public discourse.” Participants reportedly sign a detailed consent form before doing the deed, which could perhaps lead to a moment of hesitation– though whether this is due to a moment of reflection and meditation or the aforementioned feeling of is this really happening is hard to say. “They already know they have my consent,” Rubell tells Quartz. “They have to come to terms with what they’re choosing to do with my consent.”
Apparently, men are having a harder time pieing the artist than are women. And they’re right to be hesitant. “Yesterday when I left, I was just crumpled, I was destroyed,” Rubell tells Daily Beast. “But I’m going there. For me, it already feels great to be up there and to know that every pie there is going to go into my face.”
Here’s a look at some more pieings:
Come throw a pie at Jennifer Rubell tonight 5:30pm ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Mh0jsNUzWH
— Meredith Rosen (@meredith_rosen) February 14, 2018
— ABC Art Brand Comms (@ArtBrandComms) February 14, 2018
As part of her work ‘Consent,’ artist @jenniferrubell will let you put a pie in her face from 5:30-6pm daily at @meredithrosengallery. No touching, no talking, no selfies. And in the next room are paintings with her phone number so you can call her afterward and talk about it. #art #performance #contemporaryart #artist #nyc #newyork #jenniferrubell #pie #pieintheface #meredithrosengallery #performanceart #performance
The Meredith Rosen Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6pm. Rubell’s Consent will be open through March 17.