White Table with Food

by Rirkit Tiravanija

This performance art appealed to me immediately! The guard explained the process to me rather apologetically, it seemed. It must have presented as a bit weird to him. He said that a hot takeaway meal was brought in…as the little sign on the table stated. Then some lucky gallery visitors and a guard or two shared a meal. It happened between strangers in a public place.

The process involved sitting down with an unfamiliar person to eat food – that you haven’t prepared – in a situation that does not feel comfortable. This presents as a difficult dinner party for certain. It is also one I would have liked to have been part of. Still, I have my own party coming up soon. Hope there is someone else – at least one other person – to eat with there…at gallery Nan Giese…in Darwin

What do you do with food made by strangers and eaten with strangers? Many of us do this every day at restaurants or sometimes even in our own home. How much do you know the people you break bread with?


I had the urgent need to create publicity images for Art Almanac and on line for Charles Darwin University http://www.cdu.edu.au/creative-arts-humanities

So, I started with the obvious literal level in the first session and then seemed to move immediately to the next abstraction. I had so much fun that these ideas came next…

20 Small table moving around whole plate pp – 1 min
21 1/8 and movement around the ‘clock’ with piece trying to get in pp – 1 min
22 2/8 eating all the bits – 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, etc pp – 1 min
23 3/8 x 2 in conversation (?) pp – 1 min
24 4/8 legs are cutlery – running pp – 1 min
25 5/8  x 2 wobble and fall pp – 1 min
26 6/8 roll off triangle pp – 1 min
27 7/8  x 2 birds together pp – 1 min
28 8/8 cut out bits making patterns pp – 1 min
29 Creating total pattern with cutlery pp – 1 min

The trouble is that I will not have time to do create these designs for this exhibition. Next time of course but without the pressing deadline, I am handicapped.

Initial stills for DINNER


When I look at these images what I can’t help but notice is the symmetry. So, the objects that stand out are the parts that don’t fit with that symmetry. What my son sees is the player controls from a media player like iTunes or Windows Media Player; the plate recording audio, the triangle was the play button, the cutlery pauses the music. In so many areas of culture, especially dinner, we see what we want to see. We see things through the lense of our history.


This idea for an exhibition is the most exciting one that I have had for a while! It was brought about by accidental necessity too. Or some would say that I had the creativity to see it as possibility.  As it happened, along with Matthias my son, I was successful in receiving an Australian Artist’s Grant for the planned exhibition in Darwin. It was then that I discovered that it was to be a gallery where…

  • There is no facility for providing you with equipment.
  • We don’t usually keep the gallery open while there is a show hanging.
  • No budget.
  • At that time there will be nobody around. Students or viewers.

So, what would be better than an online exhibition? It will certainly exist but almost completely in virtual space. Since deciding to do this, I visited the Louisiana Gallery of Modern Art in Copenhagen, Denmark. http://www.louisiana.dk/uk/Menu/Exhibitions/Yoko+Ono I discovered that Yoko Ono is one of first artist to participate in internet exhibitions. ‘Yoko Ono: one Woman Show’ is a straight online exhibition presented on the website of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. http://www.artcommotion.com/Issue2/moca/  This was in 1997!

Still, what would come of these humble bits purchased from Spotlight? I guess I was about to find out. Key to this exhibition is the exposed process of ‘making’. It is a lose collaboration between three creative people…each of us artist in our own medium!

Making the Dinner Table

My artist friend, Sally Kidall, has a creative son who found  on line a 3D Printer program for a mini dinner table ….I was very amazed to see and HEAR this little table come into being…..Here is a recording of the mechanical sound of the printer at work. I think it could be the basis of DINNER’S soundscape.  I better ask my music collaborator it he sees the potential too!

3D printer of Table

Filmed, Designed and Recorded by:

Christopher Kidall Park
“exploring the world through video, sound, creativity & making”

3d table plans available: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:22632

Contact: skidall@gmail.com