Endless high quality food and drink, silver service and luxury hotel rooms adorn the daily routines of the idle rich these days more than ever. It’s no surprise that this occurs when only 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people on this planet. Luxury items including 5/6 star hotel food and wine is always at the finger tips of the extremely wealthy. And they don’t lift a finger when it comes to washing the silverware, setting the tables or cooking the exorbitantly priced food. Thousands of hotel workers (waiters, chefs, stewards/dishwashers, laundry workers) bend over backwards, working ridiculous hours to bring food and wine to the mouths of the world’s extremely wealthy. And many of these workers can barely afford housing, let alone food on a daily basis. But this daily routine of the world’s obscenely rich – having access to free, high quality cuisine while attending corporate functions, is hidden from many of us.
What if artefacts from this political/cultural activity of the wealthy class were taken from under their noses and displayed to the public? This exhibition is a result of that exact task. Taking something back. Re-appropriating a tiny piece of the vast amount of wealth stolen from us (recall the trillions of public money used to bailout the banks post GFC?). So, this is an exhibition for the people, by people. It’s a small gesture, but symbolically and perhaps artistically, it can mean the world.
Luxury dinner forks have been collected over a 15 year period, complete with the saliva and food stains of their users, and will be displayed in public/community spaces.
This exhibition at Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Gabriel Gallery will be the first in a series of #RichFork exhibitions touring the world in the years to come. It is no accident that the venues chosen for this touring series are venues ostensibly run by local communities, labour groups and/or publicly funded spaces.
There is more about Van T. Rudd’s current work here.
And with this post, I’ll be leaving you for the day, I have to go into town to see my neurologist. Have fun, and don’t burn the blog down while I’m gone. Stealing forks is okay.