JENNIE THWING

Yummy: a celebration of
craving, compulsion and culture

Co-curator / Co-organizer
December, 2007
Nexus Foundation
Philadelphia, PA


NEXUS/Foundation for Today's Art presents YUMMY: a celebration of craving, compulsion and culture where the delicious, the fanciful and the abundant are made manifest in artwork by 30 plus individual artists from all over the nation. The celebration runs two months and includes a gallery exhibition featuring artwork in many mediums such as sculpture, photography, ceramics and silkscreen, painting, performance and video as well as two evenings of music and dance performance; a hands-on cake baking workshop with Philadelphia's own Big Tea Party; a screening of a documentary produced by the Hunger Coalition; and a potluck dinner.

The word "Yummy" describes anything pleasing to the senses ? especially to taste ? and is used to emphasize something with an appealing nature. As our American food culture becomes more imbued with a commercialism that creates personal reverence for food products, food becomes a commodity and an accessory to underlying emotions and desires that marketing companies evoke within the consumer. "Yummy-ness" therefore is as much in the mind as it is in the mouth of the beholder. Regardless of the specific treat we long for, its value is derived by the personal relationship and history we attach to it. YUMMY: a celebration of craving, compulsion and culture inspires contemplation about the emotional and psychological nature of food as it impacts the individual experience of life especially within American culture.

Yummy celebrates our desires and our cravings and considers the culture that feeds both through a gallery exhibition, a rotating line up of video works and a rich array of extended programming. The artists' works and performances represent the personal as well as the cultural aspects of food that provides for life and comfort, while the viewers may reflect on the impact of a society that leaves them wanting more. Some highlights include a mouth-watering showcase of frosting fantasies by local cake artist Amy Stevens. The cozy crocheted cupcakes by Brandy Agnew that warm the heart and feed the soul; and a "Five Alarm Chili" quilt by Judith Trager that keeps the heat in during those cold winter nights. On the video reel you can indulge in Thu Tran's "Food Party," a hand-made cooking show that entertains with puppets, celebrity guest appearances and cardboard food. Or watch Naomi Leibowitz's "Tasting Rachel Ray" as she reveals just how "Mmmmmm? Gooood" it really is. And to truly bring "yummy-ness" to not just the minds but into the mouths of the viewers; cook up your favorite casserole, dessert or cheese dip and join Minnesota artist Megan McCreedy at the YUMMY HOTdish party where bellies will bulge and tongues will wag and the "HOTdish Philadelphia" awards are presented to some of the yummiest home cooked meals in town!