I’M WITH YOU / CHRISTA HOLKA, R. JUSTIN HUNT, JOHANNA LINSLEY
On 5th September, I’m With You went to Ipswich, UK to gorge themselves in the Pacitti Company’s new Think Tank space. Like gorge yourself silly, until the gorge rises, and like that’s gorge, babez. Part performance, part meal, “Gorge” brought bodies around a dinner table for a messy, politically-charged encounter with other eating bodies.
We thought of The Futurist Cookbook and the inedible and the tasteless. We thought of wholesome, nutritious Fluxus acts and, when we try to make a salad, we accidentally deep-fry it. We thought of Kate Zambreno‘s provocation to taxonomize (women’s) writing styles as anorexic or bulimic, and we thought about our own disordered eating episodes until we wanted to throw up.
We thought about Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and food as performance. We thought about recipes as scores, like Goat Island‘s task-based and essayistic performance practice.
We thought about second-wave feminism and dining with Judy Chicago. We thought about sell-by dates and use-by dates and we shook off the idea that we’re just a little bit past it.
We thought about Nigella Lawson’s silky swagger and just a little midnight snack. We thought about a thousand middle class supper clubs and we thought about global food shortages. We thought of Lauren Berlant on Mary Gaitskill and food as incantation and pleasures that make us feel bad. We thought of Mervyn Peake and Gormenghast and hot, sweaty, murderous kitchens. We thought about an edible Gothic, an idea that both arrests us and gets the juices flowing.
We are excellent hosts. We take hospitality seriously—the home and the guest constitute an important dynamic for us.
And we are good cooks, actually, unlike Zelda Fitzgerald, who struggles wittily with toast in her recipe for “Breakfast.” This time, though, we took on the idea of the takeaway, the abundance of absence, and what’s the takeaway on this meeting, hmmmm?
“Gorge” is a platform for eating, talking and performing that I’m With You is developing to complement our wider practice and to help us explore in more detail some things we care about quite a lot: queerness and kinship, domesticity and work, excess and etiquette.