On The Table

This summer, we invite you to join us for our remote summer series, On The Table which will present six artist-designed ‘menus’ to respond to what is 'on the table' when it comes to sharing a meal today.

Food is capable of evoking powerful memories that link us to people, places, and experiences. A shared meal with friends or family is one of life’s great pleasures. Food is inextricably tied to cultural identities, but current circumstances have invoked new challenges for gathering around a table. From increased food costs to physical limitations on gathering with one another, shared meals with friends and loved ones have taken on different forms in recent years. 

These menus are driven by current politics surrounding food access and sustainability while considering historical precedents of artists who have made art through communal meals. While some artist-designed menus may provide dinner party instructions or recipes to prepare, others will be imaginative prompts that invite creative interpretation. 

A new iteration of On The Table will be released on the List Center website every other Wednesday, from June 15 to August 25, 2022. Participants are invited to engage with the programs asynchronously throughout the season.

Sign up to receive the menus directly to your inbox as soon as they are available. 

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Lexie Smith | June 15, 2022

In lieu of a menu, Smith has designed a game where each guest will be assigned a role by blindly drawing a title and brief description from a pool. There are physical actors and emotional actors. Aside from the Host, no one knows whose role is what, or what the other roles are. This meal looks at the isolation inherent to participating in gatherings outside of our usual social environments (and sometimes present even within them) and works to dissolve group hierarchies through directed participation and activation of ubiquitous expertise. 

Headshot of Lexie Smith, a fair skinned woman with tousled brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a black shirt

Seitu Ken Jones | June 29, 2022

Jones' "Dessert Menu for Peace" reflects the stories from African American culinary traditions. The menu is inspired from the recipes of Edna Lewis, who inspired two generations of American chefs and Rose McGee, who has used pies as a tool for change and exchange. This equally simple and complex dessert menu will unite participants in a beautiful, poetic experience that exposes each other's differences and inequities, illuminates similarities and connections, and builds bridges of understanding. 

A brown skinned man with a full white beard stands with hands behind his back in front of black backdrop. He wears a striped shirt

Jon Rubin & Habibullah Sorosh | July 13, 2022

For Habibullah Sorosh, who recently left Afghanistan, films evoke a web of memories and experiences much like meals do for all of us today. To expand on the discussions presented in this series of what is on the table when considering a shared meal today, Rubin and Sorosh will collaborate together to create a dinner and a movie experience for participants. For this iteration, you will receive a list of movies to select from, and a menu for an Afghan meal commonly eaten in Habib’s home. The movie titles provided, part of hundreds of films that Habib had to destroy after the U.S. withdrawal and the rise of the Taliban, will be accompanied by a stories that reflect upon how the films uniquely intersected with Habib’s life and teaching.

A Dinner, a Movie and a Book is the start of a participatory archival project that rebuilds Habib’s DVD collection along with the development of a book that delves into each film as a portal into a life of study and teaching in Afghanistan. 

Rubin sitting outside wearing a blue button-up with sleeves rolled up and dark frame glasses. He has short hair and facial hair
Sorosh poses, wearing a dark suit jacket overtop white button & patterned tie. He has straight, dark hair that covers his forehead

Lexa Walsh | July 27, 2022

Walsh’s menu, Meal Ticket, is designed as a communal curated meal and as an active recipe exchange. Share conversation with a group as small as eight or gathering of up to a hundred and come together to consider a recipe as a set of instructions that reflect on our values, culture, and place. Conclude the meal by weaving the recipes together to formulate a story for your iteration of meal ticket and create a community cookbook to cement the experience of the event.  

Lexa Walsh, seated in a wooden chair, wears a black t-shirt, bright pink earrings. She has brown hair pulled back and fair skin

TJ Shin | August 10, 2022

For the fifth iteration of On The Table, interdisciplinary artist TJ Shin shares Seedling Pore as an invitation to connect with the earth, while also materializing absence, memory and time. Seedling Pore can be a literal act of creating an unglazed earthenware vessel in which to create a brine throughout the seasons, or a thought experiment in which to consider our cyclical relationship to the earth as an affectation, not as a humans impact. 

Artist TJ Shin with short, dark hair sits on a chair with legs crossed, in front of a blank wall. Shin wears a tank top and blue jeans

Asunción Molinos Gordo | August 24, 2022

Asunción Molinos Gordo is a research-based artist strongly influenced by disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. She employs installation, photography, video, sound and other media to examine the rural realm driven by a strong desire to understand the value and complexity of its cultural production, as well as the burdens that keep it invisible and marginalized. She has produced work reflecting on land usage, nomad architecture, farmers’ strikes, bureaucracy on territory, transformation of rural labour, biotechnology and global food trade. Molinos Gordo won the Sharjah Biennial Prize 2015 with her project WAM (World Agriculture Museum) and represented Spain official section at the 13th Havana Biennial 2019. Her work has been exhibited at venues including V&A Museum (London), ARNOLFINI (Bristol), The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo),Darat Al Funun (Amman), Tranzit (Prague), Cappadox Festival (Uchisar-Turkey).

Black and white headshot of a woman with dark hair, pulled back. She wears a black v-neck shirt