Monday, May 2, 2011


After the mention of Wim Delvoye in my previous post, Jen Wardle commented about Delvoye’s “meat floors” which I’d never seen before: various parquet-style floor tile patterns, with the colors and textures of sliced meat.  They look amazing, as seen in the pictures above and below.

And yet I couldn’t help being a little bit disappointed to discover that the floors weren’t made of actual meat.  They were only images, scans of meat, so that the floors were actually covered in photographs.  I can see that a gallery floor laid out with slices of meat might get a bit rank before too long, but a man like Delvoye who builds a machine to create poop, and then sells the end product, might have been expected to go all the way.

When I arrived in Los Angeles, one of the first art exhibitions I saw was Ed Ruscha's “Chocolate Room” at MOCA. It consisted of 360 sheets of paper silk-screened with real chocolate and arranged around the walls of a gallery.  The best thing about it, naturally, was the smell.

In fact the work was a recreation of something Ruscha had done at the Venice Biennale in 1970, and this was touted as “a major new MOCA acquisition.”  Which I assume means that the sheets of chocolaty paper are currently being stored in a climate controlled art vault somewhere in LA, and I can’t help wondering what kind of archival process is used to guarantee that the smell stays fresh and intense.  We all know that old chocolate can get very unappealing indeed.  I believe "bloom" is the technical term.

In fact Ruscha’s title “Chocolate Room” was a bit of a misnomer, it was really just chocolate walls, or even chocolate wallpaper.  The gallery floor and ceiling were left bare, which I think was a missed opportunity.  Why not a chocolate floor?  Or in the interests of collaboration why not chocolate walls and a meat floor?  And for that matter, why not a popcorn ceiling?

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