Tuesday, May 25, 2010

30 Days of Dinner Time, Day 24

In the window, Charina, Junito, Candido, Lucy, Scrappy and the man Nate and I refer to as the pizza boy. The first four people in that list are family members from the neighborhood. Scrappy is their petite dog and the pizza boy is a man who arrived mid-dinner with a pizza and stayed for a while.

Lucy and Candido brought Puerto Rican food and started their dinner time together at the table. At their feet a "Cooking for Two" book faced the window as a gesture toward their current Empty Nester status. After some time their adult son joined them for dinner, sitting with his dad at the table. Whoever was eating sat at the table and the other(s) rotated to the floor.

A few minutes later their adult daughter and Scrappy came in, parents now sitting together on the floor and children eating together at the table. Lastly the pizza boy came in with his gift to the family, shook hands and joined the daughter on the floor while dad and brother sat at the table and mom stood on the other side of the window. Before the night ended, all the "children" left and the parents were left together again in the window. The Cooking for Two book had been flipped upside down while the family was with them, but returned to it's upright position when man and wife were alone together again. This gesture was very important to Lucy, representing their lives through symbol to the viewer.

This dinner has been scheduled since the first week of the piece and I've been looking forward to it immensely. This version did a wonderful job expressing the multi-person family unit, dinner time that is broken into rotations for convenience and necessity, and the organic nature of certain groups and cultures inside the act of eating. In this dinner there was a continuous act of giving for your other... giving up your turn at food so someone else could eat, standing while someone else sits, becoming smaller so the other has more room to be big. It's the image of a real and loving family.

This was also the first night that I was not present for the piece. I had a job to do in the evening so Nate filled my shoes, as the good husband he is. For the first time in almost a month, I am looking at the piece the same way my facebook fans are. Not as viewers on the sidewalk nor as participants in the window, but as a second hand viewer. I saw this night through the eyes of Nate, much the same way you have seen the previous 23 days through my eyes (unless you were there in person on a given night).

This makes me want to encourage everyone to come out before the last night (May 30). While I'm trying to see the piece clearly, it's only as good as my vantage point. I have been really altered by spending time with this concept and gesture, but only insofar as I am able to be personally moved (as is the case with all art). You have a different set of eyes to see through, and I need you in order to see my own work more fully, as it ought to be seen.

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