United Rites Of The Table (In Parts)

In Collaboration with Giada Alazraki, Preston Burger, Paula Chaves, Dora Koimtzi, Ely Levin, Yuko Mitsuishi & Andrew Weeks

Part I Newspaper Event ( A. Knowles 1965)

Part II Eating

Part III Digestion and Emancipating

Part IV The Table Turning and Serving Soup

The piece began with my desire to understand current events in the world. I started to stack newspapers I'd read in the corner of a room, and as the stack aged and got taller they reminded me of a spine. At the time, I was working with an elderly woman who could not walk very much and didn't like to eat. And when she did eat, she couldn't balance the food very well on her fork. One of the articles I had read was about a food crisis in Haiti. There, people were storming the palace gates, and someone was quoted as saying, "When people are hungry, that's when we get angry." I think of these events when I think of how this piece began to evolve. These specific narratives are lost because their meanings are still in progress. In my collaboration with dancers and musicians, we have begun to combine our stories and test our differences for finding a new common language for rituals of exchanging that take place at and around the table. We have no set dialogue as yet.

Left: Ely Levin Right: Andrew Weeks
Stretching Bones

This video shows part of the making of the broth that was served in "United Rites of the Table". 
In it: a part of the vertabrae, scapulas, and sacrum of the pig from New Year's, The breastbone of the Christmas turkey,  legs of a chicken, a carrot, a parsnip, citrus,  and salt.

Pressure Points (2008)

Pressure Points was a collaboration with Andrew Weeks and Natalie Heller. We were extracting sounds from an creaky flight of steps in an old tenement building in the Lower East Side (specifically, ABC NO RIO for their Ides of March Biennial). A series of dances were performed on the steps. The sounds rather than the visuals of our movements were recorded. We presented to the public a sound piece played from 3 boom boxes that suspended from the ceiling above the stair case. Visitors were invited to sit on the steps and listen to a looped, non-linear narrative of action.

The Burial

Performed by Gail Accardi, Jorge Colombo, Sally Im, Lucca Leopardo-Brunt, and myself. The Burial was was presented at an eco-festival at Socrates Sculpture Park in September of 2007. The Burial was a reaction to being involved in a war over natural resources. The Kinks' song Well-Respected Man plays while Gap Models act bored. they listen, dance, and pose for the photographer.  In one part, a drumming solider plays along with the boy on the violin, to the song, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" Honey Cakes travel to the platform by Gap Models, are placed on the record player, lowered down on the record player, replaced back in the basket, and then are shared with the audience. Honey cakes in the Myth of Trophonious were gifts given to the two snakes which guarded the entrance of Trophonious' cave. Once the snakes were appeased. Trophonious would offer his cures and prophetic visions for the future.
The Burial was inspired by "The Death of Hip",  a Diggers performance from 1969

Other photos by Jorge Colombo here: http://www.jorgecolombo.com/burial


Spreads & Dips

The Drawing Table

"The Drawing Table" took place in May 2007. In this event, drawing students from Columbia were invited to share in an end of the year party at the Ramphouse. The afternoon involved them purchasing food en route. On arriving, their contribution was arranged into an edible still life. The still life changed as they consumed it. 

Nudes and Foods

(video link)

January 24, 2006 : 24 More at the GWB Ramphouse

24 More was a close collaboration with Kate Shearman, Amanda Matles, Ely Levin, Emilie Stark-Menning, Beatrice Barbeleschi,  Mike Cataldi, and Chuck Miller. 24 More was a 5 course meal presented on my 25th birthday.  Goethe's story, The Sorrows of Young Werther was incorporated into the piece.  5 courses were served throughout the evening,  A 24 layer cake followed. 
The kitchen and hallway was projected into the dining room 
Dancing and serving here: Kate, Emilie, and Bici 
Looking in the kitchen from dining room  (Photo by J. Colombo)
A new apron for each course. 

Kitchen as a lab: Mike flipping pancakes, Ely playing cast iron, Amanda on keyboard. 

Mildred's Lane

Lovin the Land: Getting to Mildred's Lane
This is a series of photographs made from 2004- 2005. I was living and working as an artist in residence at Mildred's Lane. During this time, I found inspiration in photography work that was "staged". These photographs are "staged" moments from tasks performed in the landscape. The tasks were interpreted in part to help maintain the land. I was allowing the work to help determine or "stage" the photo.  These photographs document the earlier states  of interiors and exteriors at Mildred's Lane. See www.mildredslane.com or www.jmorganpuett.com to see some of the latest architectural progress there.

Free Pesto: The garden peaked, and the 10 basil plants needed to be utilized. I grounded the plants into pesto for two afternoons.

Cutting Back: Briefly after moving to Mildred's Lane, I came down with a fever, and sore throat. I vowed to give up cigarettes,  at least cut back.

Pumpkin Cushion: I placed straw under the unripe pumpkin to prevent it from turning mushy laying on the dirt.

Making Ways: I was living in a house, (the Mildred House). There was no running water or plumbing. Therefore the outhouse was used often. When the leaves began to fall, I would rake the  trail that led from the house to the outhouse. 
Rain Collecting: An afternoon shower, Teacups collect water.

Mildred Debris: This is the back of the Mildred House.  I took an afternoon to clean up some old debris which felt as if it had been there for ages.

Garden Rescue: The weather report called for the first frost of the season. Outdoor plants were brought indoors.Some Re-potting: Plants/herbs brought indoors were taken outdoors to be transplanted into pots for a life indoors for the winter.

Room Clean: Grey Rabbit's bedroom getting organized.

Closing Garden: The black cover was pulled over the garden bed for the winter.

Insulating Mildred House: A layer of plastic was tacked to the screens to block out the cold drafts.

Music in the Mildred House: I was making a mix tape.

Reading: In the Mildred House, there was no television.

Chopping Wood: Here, wood is split for kindling. 

Burning Trash: old scrap pieces of wood were burned here.

Dish System: Water would be hauled to the Mildred House, and dishes would be washed within a basin, and rinsed over a dry sink.

Laying Traction: Straw was spread over the ground where cars would park. This was to give the wheels some traction when the snow came.

Grocery Transport: When the snow came so heavily, that cars could not make it through the trail, I resorted to walking and using a sled to transport groceries and such.

Garden Security: The following spring, I made a canopy of netting to prevent varmints from eating the young veggies.

Green Tomatoes: To counter the infestation of juice sucking stinkbugs, I harvested the tomatoes prematurely, and made pickles out of them.

BreadWorkShop With Leyna Noel

A Supper Experiment conceived by Athena Kokoronis with Leyna Noel and diners. Melodies Lilted as bread rose, and a Japanese meal was shared.

A Supper Experiment conceived by Athena Kokoronis with Leyna Noel and diners. Melodies Lilted as bread rose, and a Japanese meal was shared.

"Cooling Test I"

Socrates Sculpture Park, 2007

Food Images

A late summer course of goat meatballs and rabbit in a stew with white wine. There was a down pour of rain before this dinner. The table cloth was still soaking wet.
In Andes, New York: Each day M. Dellacrosse and myself created window displays bearing food we would prepare in her gallery/home project. In this image, dough rises for bread.

Pizza party on the fire. 


Mildred's Lane 

Stuffed grape leaves

Daria cake prototype

     Jorge Colombo, Dinner Guest

Chocolate cake