Originally presented by artist Gordon Matta Clark in his restaurant FOOD, Soho New York in the 70s, Bone Dinner featured oxtail soup, roasted marrow bones and frogs legs.
It was recently recreated and reinterpreted in Birmingham by the nomadic curatorial and artistic practice Companis.
A certain trepidation could be read on the faces of those turning up on a rainy Friday evening at Birminghams Eastside Projects.
A few aromatic cocktails eased the tensions before the first course.
Out comes a tray of canapés. Assorted blanched white bones, curled around are slices of bacon. Curious people gather round, pick a bone before scurrying away for a nibble. All agree that the entrée is rather tasty. Discarded bones are placed on name tags for later artistic interpretation.
The second course circulates, Rack of Lamb. Now eager hands reach in and pull out these steaming morsels. There are no napkins, juice runs in between our knuckles and down our wrists. Quick tongues are there to intercept the rivulets.
We are ushered into the adjoining room. Inside we find a banqueting hall only lit by candles, and a pile of assorted bones on the floor.
The next course is Stuffed Duckling.
Eyes are blurring, the light level is low, in a hollowed our egg shell mysterious contents are joined by stock. Draining the contents your pallet is challenged by hot liquid flavours fighting against cool fruity pulp.
Sucked and Cracked.
Two small corpses lie on our plates, covered in their translucent armour, now eager fingers strip their bodies’ their skins discarded on the pile in the centre of the room.
Where were we’ Our plates are replaced by large white tiles dotted with markings. Gelatine’ We glance side to side. The only way is to follow the directions.
Smear and squeak.
An Architectural Carcass is butchered before our steaming eyes, four quarters, inverted digits protrude, all fingers and hands, slurp your palm, slightly burning tips, chewing. All seems like it could be edible, a match is eaten, half a lemon, ornaments tied to your body, the ends casually tossed on the floor.
more smearing, tongue arcs, primitive snorts
Bones, wear them home, into the night!