Narcissus Nature Morte Mukbang was made in response to Gayle Chong Kwan’s photographic series Cockaigne (2004) and the wider Women’s Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge – Europe’s largest collection of art by women. It used humour to explore consumption, feminism, wellness, the fetishisation of nature and food in the context of the pandemic and climate crisis.
Ethereal performers led the audience in guided meditation then explored the gardens, pausing to plant seeds, squeeze clay and pick daffodils. Inside the Fellow’s Dining Room, performers briefly became statues of women looking in mirrors, positioned around the room, amongst the art. They waited for the audience to scan the QR codes from their faces and access a video collage of food-related art from the collection and YouTube Mukbang clips to watch through their transparent plates.
Stood before Cockaigne at the heads of tables, the performers tone changed, they became frenzied and neurotic, now in charge of conducting the audience as they ate lunch. The audience awkwardly negotiated wobbly plates of bread and salad as performers chanted confusing instructions about how to eat and talk at their tables. The performers posed as table decorations; they brought food to their mouths but didn’t eat it; they became still life vessels for daffodils. The audience reacted, responded, observed, and ignored the performing women.
The performance was followed by an artist talk with Gayle Chong Kwan and Emily Perry in the iconic Fountain Court at Murray Edwards.
Performed by Clio Lloyd-Jacob, Damaris Athene and Elie Arden.
Curated by Naomi Polonsky
This silent video could be accessed by the audience scanning the QR code on the back of the performers mirrors and watching it on their phones. Some people placed their phones under their transparent plates to watch the video through their phones while they ate.