FoodCHI 2017

Nov 17 - 18, 2017, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Dr. Marnie Badham

RMIT University, Australia


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Hungry for Art and Social Practice: creative strategies examining the politics and performance of food culture

Socially engaged art practice has become a site of everyday intervention exploring changing food culture in the contexts of climate change and mass migration. Within this burgeoning field, social practice artists and arts producers are using a range of affective, political, artistic and discursive strategies to engage the public, industry and consumers in important conversations about what and how we eat. What are the art histories informing this preoccupation of artists with food production, consumption and sharing? This question asks as much about the form of social art practices – extending from both performance and visual art traditions - as it does about the relationship of food and art. With a backdrop of historically significant works such as Judy Chicago’s massive Dinner Party installation at the peak at the feminist movement pointing to domestic labour and sociality or more recently Rirkrit Tiravanija’s pad thai, which became synonymous with relational aesthetics, strangers shared a table and a meal, and hopefully, a conversation. This preoccupation with food consumption and hospitality remains for contemporary social practice artists.

Short bio:

With a long history of art and social justice practice in both Canada and Australia, Marnie’s interests include socially-engaged art, the politics of cultural measurement, and participatory advocacy methodologies. Marnie is the Vice Chancellor’s Post Doctoral Research Fellow at RMIT University’s School of Art and has received recent awards from the Melbourne Social Equity Institute and an Early Career Researcher Award at the VCA (2015) to undertake her new work on ‘the social turn in artist residencies’. Marnie is also developing an anthology on food, art and politics to critically examine social art and history projects that engage critically with questions of climate, conflict and transnationalism. Marnie lectures into the Master of Art (Art in Public Space) program and maintains an active art-research practice through residencies, exhibitions and other community-based collaborations.

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