FEAST: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art

2 Mar

Exploring the intersection between art, food, and hospitality; FEAST takes us through the course of the artist-orchestrated meal. Starting in the 1930’s with the Italian Futurists crusade against pasta and continuing into today with Tom Marioni’s Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest form of Art. Artists emphasize the elevation of the meal as a space for understanding, exchange, and, art. The pieces in FEAST act as archives for the meals that have and will occur both in and outside of the museum.

As an Art student, a member of the WAM Collective, and Special Projects Intern at the Weisman; I’ve been looking into FEAST and its relevance within art, art institutions and within the University. I’ve decided to pull images from my own history with food, art, and hospitality into a narrative of how I understand the questions that are raised in FEAST.




What is hospitality?

Hosting is about creating a space, it creates the tone and determines how guests feel during the interaction. Hospitality is about making that space a welcoming one. As the host you become responsible for the well being of your guests which traditionally creates an uneven dynamic. A lot of FEAST artists play with the role of the host and guest interchangeably. With a homemade fort there isn’t room for uneven dynamics, literally. When you invite your guests to
help you create the space, the collaboration blurs the roles of the participants and performer, as well as the host and guest relationships.


New neighbors

What does it mean to be hospitable in a university setting?

A distinction between eating and the artist orchestrated meal is the intentionality of experience. The framework of where, when, and why was planned but the experience was a created somewhat spontaneously together. Our planned and intentional framework at the University is our Campus Climate but ultimately our experience is created with those around us. This is me in August a few days before move in day meeting my neighbors for the first time. I was relieved to know that we would become friends.


Pink 1

In an art museum?

Hospitality being as much about the people as the place, art museums became home to me when I got to know the staff. I had always loved going to see art but being part of it allows for a relationship to develop and experiences to be expanded on. A meal is temporary and doesn’t take up very much of our time but eating a meal with someone can be a very impactful and memorable experience. As a museum, we would like to act like a meal. At a meal you bring your personal history, culture, and, taste preferences with you. You have conversation, you exchange information, you laugh, you learn, and you feel like you took part in something. FEAST demonstrates how institutions have acted as meals in the past and perpetuates the participatory mindset.


food art


When is hospitality radical?

Hospitality often is associated with food but food isn’t always hospitable. Hospitality can differ depending on the context, and how food is presented. Being an art student who explores food and works at a bakery I can understand how hospitality can be changed radically. Donuts and baked goods look welcoming and tasty but, besides being horribly unhealthy are delicious pockets of temptation. During my performance piece, Donut Soup, I mash donuts, milk, frosting, glaze, and sprinkles together in a fury. Taking something familiar and welcoming and turning it into something that asks questions brings hospitality into a grey area of where warm and fuzzy feelings and critical analysis occurs. Hospitality is sometimes an invitation to engage rather than just feel.

Words @ WAM 2015: recap

19 Feb

Bodies Braved the suB-zero Bitter cold. Baked goods were Bitten and Beverages were Brewed while Bodies Built Black-out Poetry. BBBBBBBRR! Last night was freezing! Luckily, that didn’t stop Words @ WAM from being a success. Last night was a great turn out of people who participated in the Open Mic, including our featured readers Peter Bognanni and Paula Cisewski! Thank you so much to everyone who made the evening possible! Thank you Hazel & Wren for teaming up with us. This event is always a treat. Here are some photo highlights from the evening!


Podium perspective before the Open-Mic kicks off!


ENTER IF YOU DARE: literary mischief ahead.




Social hour got crafty with some Black-Out Poetry.



Oh, did we mention that we were serenaded by gorgeous cello music?

…because we were.

If you missed Words @ WAM, no worries! We have two more events coming up within a matter of weeks, so mark your calendars. Study Night will be taking place on March 4th at 5pm-8pm and Creative Mornings will be taking place on March 6th at 8:30am-10:30am. We hope to see you there!

Spring 2015 Preview

2 Feb

Whether you’re a student at the U of Mn or a fellow Minnesotan, you know that the beginning of spring semester probably only consists of 2 weeks of actual ‘spring’, right? In fact, spring semester can get pretty depressing. You return from practically an entire month of being on break and enjoying the holidays with your friends and family. Some of you may have vacationed on sandy beaches, or perhaps on your couch with Netflix with your friends Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, and Chandler . No matter how you spent your vacation, returning to class can get a bit difficult. Not to mention the weather makes Minnesotans…a little bit more ice than nice. The WAM collective gets that. That’s why we’re on a mission. We have some really awesome stuff coming up this spring and we want you all to come. We want you to help us beat the cold weather with community and art.


Study Night. Study Night. Study Night.

February 11th 5pm-8pm

March 4th 5pm-8pm

April 15th 5pm-8pm

Your semester wouldn’t be the same without the popular, and always very necessary, Study Night. Let’s be honest here. Doing homework and studying is never a particularly fun activity. So we’ve been trying to cook up ways to spice up the regular routine of staring at textbooks. Don’t believe that’s possible? Come check out our study space at the Weisman’s Riverview Gallery. The brilliant view of the Mississippi has to beat the ambiance of your messy dorm room. We promise to play some music that’ll keep you awake and we’ll even feed you snacks that aren’t stale ramen.

We are excited to announce a new feature of student night called Launch sdfPad, presented in collaboration with the Carlson Student Group Co-Lab. Launch Pad provides ‘an opportunity for entrepreneurs within our community to connect and advise students chasing after the same passion – to make their business dream a reality.’

Looking for more of a study break? Take a tour of WAM’s spring exhibits and impress your parents (or date) with your deep knowledge of 20th century and contemporary art (#winning). Not to mention we’ve decided to bring in, for all you stressed out students, some wonderful study companions. On the first study night of the semester, Feb 11th, PAWS (Pet Away Worry and Stress) will be returning with some lovable furry (or feathery?) friends. Coco Wagner will also be there to Henna some beautiful designs on you. If all else fails, come by for some retail therapy. The Sweet Heart Sale will be going on at the WAM Gift Shop from February 11th to February 13th. A perfect opportunity to buy that last-minute Valentines Day gift you forgot to buy yourself. We know you deserve it.


Words @ WAM: an Open Mic Night

February 18th 6pm-9pm

We’re teaming up again with the local literary community Hazel and Wren for our annual Words @ WAM open mic! This open mic night will also feature the talents of local writers Paula Cisewski (Ghost Fargo) and Peter Bognanni (The House of Tomorrow). Readers begin at 7:00 pm, in order of the sign-up sheet. The open mic is open to all interested wordsmiths of any genre: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, spoken word, and all literary mischief welcome. Readers will have 4 minutes and 30 seconds to read their pieces. Those who go over their time will have trashy romance paperbacks thrown at them. Seriously.

Socializing begins at 6. Literary mischief begins at 7.



March 6th 8:30 am-10am

We understand that 8:30 is early. We don’t doubt that many of you have gone to great length to make sure you don’t have class before 11. But our lecture has things that your class lectures most certainly don’t offer. Breakfast and Coffee. CreativeMornings, besides being a fantastic national lectures series that you should attend regardless, will have a full arsenal of food and caffeine waiting for you.  So we’re here to bring you on the ground floor. You’re gonna wanna get in on this. This semester the theme is “INK”. Last semester, we hosted twin-cities beloved host Mark Wheat. Who could be next? So come support the local speaker and enjoy a real breakfast. Cause come on, when was the last time you were even awake for that meal?

Later this semester….

Pop-up Park

April 20th – May 10th

In the last few weeks of the semester, WAM Collective and the School of Architecture’s Open Studio class will turn our museum’s front plaza into a temporary park! The park will be inspired by the Pavement-to-Park movement and the museum’s featured spring exhibition: Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art.  “This park will aim to shift perspectives and spark encounters that aren’t always possible within a fast-moving and segmented society.”

Eye Candy

April 22nd 6pm-8pm     

When we wrap up this semester, WAM Collective will be hosting its annual Design Showcase in partnership with the College of Design. The showcase, Eye Candy, is inspired by the exhibition Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art and features student-designed outfits using nontraditional materials.

Well there you have it! As you can see we have many amazing things lined up for you guys this semester. So log off Netflix, get out of your pajamas, and come join us for what’s shaping up to be an impressive semester!

Crossover to Balance: Q&A with Mark Wheat of MPR’s The Current

17 Oct

Interview by Luna Allen-Bakerian, Transcription by Hannah Germaine

105 community members gathered in the Riverview Gallery this gloomy fall morning for the October installment of Minneapolis’ Creative Mornings series. Mark Wheat of MPR’s The Current prepared a lecture for the theme of Crossover, discussing his extreme geographical and career transitions. I followed Mark and Luna into a conference room for their pre-lecture interview. Mark said that this event would be new for him, as his DJ slot falls at night and he is not typically a morning person. We chatted about our astrological signs (he’s a Libra) and about his reliance on the moon calendar before settling into the interview. Look out for Luna’s Radio K DJ set next Monday night, where she will share Mark’s picks (amongst her own)!


Which crossover [in your life] do you think has been the most significant so far?

I’d have to say crossing the ocean. Living in two separate cultures, joined by familiar language, is an interesting experiment. It forces you to reevaluate some of the things that you grew up thinking were set in stone. That’s good. I think that’s what crossovers are all about. Pushing your comfort zone. If someone had asked me twenty years ago, I’d never have said that I’d become an American citizen. I was not totally convinced that I would stay for my entire life, but two years ago I did become a citizen and I don’t foresee going anywhere, even within the United States. I love Minnesota now. It’s become very special to me because of the success of The Current. There’s no way that I’d be able to have the job that I have now [if I had stayed in England].

What do you think you’d be doing if you hadn’t come here? What do you think you’d be doing in England as a job?

Well I [had] hoped to be a teacher. That’s why I loved Radio K. I thought that was a dream job because I got to hang with students and I got to do radio, too. But that’s because I couldn’t have even dreamed up The Current twelve years ago. I went to teacher training college after University and that’s how I first got over here. I worked for two years on summer camps in upstate NY. That was the easiest way for a Brit to get over here, they found you the job and they gave you the six weeks travel time afterwards. I couldn’t get a job as a teacher when I graduated. I went back to where my mother lived and I couldn’t even get on the substitute roll [because] there were so many unemployed experienced teachers. To answer your question, I have no idea. I wasn’t having a very good start at [teaching] and the last job I had before I came over was as a chauffer. So maybe I would have been a chauffer, because I love driving and that was fun.

That’s perfect that you mentioned Radio K. I DJ at Radio K. I’m wondering, if you could DJ a four-song set now at Radio K, what would be your picks? Assuming [they were] in the library.

Which [they] would be, because I would have to make [the set] Radio K significant. I would have to have a song by The Fall because historically I’ve said they’re my favorite band of all time. I think [I would incorporate] Low, too, because obviously the K has a huge tradition with local music, and those guys have been special to me as a fan, and just sharing experiences with them. When Paul Wellstone died they were in the [Radio K] studio and did a special set for him, so that was kind of crazy. They’ve been a band I’ve grown up with in the scene and they exemplify what’s great about local musicians: they stay here; they help younger musicians. They foster the community that we’ve got here in Minnesota. So that’d be symbolic. But how would I mix from The Fall to Low?

Segway Band.

Yeah, good idea! Well, and I’m not just saying this because you happen to be of the same gender, but I always like gender balance, too. I struggle with that sometimes on The Current. It is tough sometimes to fit two or three voices of female origin in every hour, which is what I try and do. So there would have to be a female artist. Who would that be? Maybe Stereolab. I don’t know why they come up to me, but they’re one of those Radio K Bands. They’re probably a band that I might not have discovered without the K. And they were one of those bands that we always played way too much. Then something dance-y. Maybe St. Germain. You know, I used to be a live DJ, too, and electronic music was a big part of it. Or Daft Punk. I remember us playing “Around the World” too much, too, because that’s, like, 9 minutes long or something.

It’s fun, though. I think that’s a good balance.

Stereolab could [transition] into dance-y.

That’s the Segway.

That’s the Segway!

Right now we have exhibits that are all about yearning to roam, and since you’ve moved quite a bit in your life, I’m wondering if you think wanderlust is a good thing or a bad thing. Some people think it’s this romantic idea and some people are like, ‘eh.’

I think you need a balance. I think it’s a good thing at certain times in your life. I’ve always said to young people, ‘travel if you can.’ The experience, for me, totally changed my life. Coming over here for the first time from a small rural community and seeing something like New York literally blows your mind. I think the same thing can happen for you guys going back to Europe or going to South America or wherever. Wanderlust at a certain point is good. And until I got [to Minnesota], I hadn’t stayed in the same place literally for more than two or three years. And when I got here I decided, ‘if you keep doing that you never reap the rewards of whatever it is you’ve put your time into.’ I looked around at First Avenue when I went there one of the first times and I thought, if I can do something that means that I get to be known in this club, I think that would be a good thing to do with my life. And now I get recognized all the time. I think wanderlust is good to learn and figure out what you want to do with your life, and then at a certain point you have to figure out, ‘now I’m going to stay here and do this.’ But then, that’s me. I’ve often said, [and] I’ve often heard, that the Twin Cities is a good community because it’s got a lot of people who grow up here and stay here, a lot of people who’ve come here (like myself), and it’s got a lot of people who grew up here, left, and then have come back. And that makes a nice mix. We have aspirations way beyond our size, in terms of music and art. The expectations have been raised because of people who have gone away and come back, and because of people who come here to live because they like that community. So wanderlust [is] good, but it has to balanced, too.

You’re answering with “balance” throughout. It’s the Libra [in you]! You’ve kind of Segway-ed perfectly into this, but if you could give advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?

It actually would be about spirituality. I was just writing a piece about Bob Dylan’s Slow Train Coming, which came out when I was 19. It’s the only Dylan album I ever bought, and you look back now and it’s actually disrespected in terms of his work. But he asks the question, ‘who do you serve?’ The idea of Bob Dylan saying you’ve gotta serve somebody blew me away when I was 19. Even when you’re Dylan you’ve gotta serve somebody? I didn’t realize his background of being Jewish. We didn’t have a Jewish community where I grew up so I didn’t understand that, [but] the Christianity aspect of [serving somebody] was interesting for me. I wasn’t brought up from a Christian household and I grew up in the most Pagan part of the country, so those were my roots. When I was 20, I thought about [spirituality], but I never did the work to figure out what I was. I always said, ‘I’m agnostic,’ or, ‘I’m atheist.” But I didn’t really pay attention to it. It’s only been the last 10 years, specifically since I met my wife, that I’ve really paid attention. What is going on here? What are we supposed to do? What are we connected to? Who do we serve, if anyone? And how can it help my life? Yoga or meditation, and paying attention to the moon and the planets and the universe, and respecting [them] as a spiritual force has been huge for me. And it’s brought balance. I’m glad you picked up on that key word, because to me I was always imbalanced. I was too much in my head, and didn’t pay attention to the physical entity that we are. I hadn’t asked those questions seriously and I hadn’t developed a spiritual discipline. I think we all have to figure out what that is for each of us. I’m not convinced by any of the major religions because they tend to all tell you to do something that everybody else does, where the way that I understand [that] spirituality works is that we’re all different, and therefor we all need different spiritual keys to make us function at our highest level, highest consciousness. So you can take a bit from everything. I just did this thing with Cloud Cult. They’re a very spiritual band. The audience wanted to know what [Craig] was. You can’t [put a label on him], but his work is really spiritual. He does a little meditation — just trying to find some stillness. It’s funny being [here at Creative Mornings] where it’s all kind of [about] social media. [It’s] the Western way [to] always be busy and engaged and connected. I don’t think it’s the right balance for me. I just have to counter that with a little stillness.

WAM-O-RAMA : recap


In partnership with the fine folks over at The Whole Music Club we welcomed over 1000 students to our fall kick off party on Friday Sept. 5. It was a night filled with art, music, food and dancing: Bohemian Press held it down and screen-printed over 400 t-shirts with their original designs, Radio K blasted jams on the plaza and Coco Wagner shared the beautiful art of Henna. If you’re like us, then you can’t get enough of the sweet sounds by our three performing acts: Aubades, Hippo Campus and Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Our WAMigo Hannah Germaine sat down with the bands to get an insider perspective on their process, influences and what they’re currently obsessed with.



How did your band come together?

Ross Koeberl: Two summers ago I worked retail. After work I would go hang out with the brother of a guy I worked with and we would play guitar and drums. We were called “Take Me to the Beach” and we just did, like, punk Kanye covers. We ended up playing at the Whole last winter and then at the beginning of the summer we got an e-mail saying, “Hey, do you guys wanna play?” But he was back home and I was here. And I thought, well, I don’t want to mess up the opportunity and I’ve always wanted like a band that played more than Kanye covers. Musical people just always go, “Hey we should make a band one day!” So I just picked all of those people.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Eva Moe: I like the electro pop type thing.

RK: Noise pop.

EM: Plus violin.

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

EM: Gorillaz for me, always.

noRK: I really like the Dismemberment Plan, Ava Luna and the Talking Heads. I try to rip off this movement in the 60s called no wave. I wish it was still around, but it’s not. So I try to rip that off all the time. Eva Moe. I’m a big Eva Moe fan.

EM: I was going to say the same about you, but I was like I’m not going to go there.

RK: Right because you’re in the band, it sounds like you’re a big fan of yourself.

EM: No, I was going to say Ross….

What is the weirdest show you’ve ever played?

EM: This is our first show.

What are you obsessed with right now?

EM: Tea. I’m really sick.

RK: I am obsessed with popular rapper Drake. I don’t care about the stigma of liking Drake. I know he’s the softest in the game, but you know what? So am I. Sometimes I’m the softest in the game. I’ve learned more Drake songs than my own songs.


How did your band come together?

Short story or long story? We were all kite surfers in Florida.

Real story!

So high school wasn’t that long ago. And we had known each other throughout high school. We all attended the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.

*Door flies open, girls screaming*

It wasn’t until the end of senior year when we all got together because we were all in different bands. We sort of formed a super-group of two different bands. It was actually not even supposed to be serious. We were planning on joking as a band, being funny, making fun of an idea. We kind of did it to piss of our other bands. We were just like, “we won’t tell anybody that we’re in this band.” We didn’t tell anybody. We started playing shows. And people found out by the first show. But then we started playing shows and it was awesome.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

I would just say, “Come see a show sometime.” But rock. Surfer. But rock. A lot of people would compare it, just right off the bat, a mix between Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema club. We’ve recently been telling people hypothetical pop. We don’t’ know, it changes.

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Celine Dion, first and foremost. Sarah McLachlan. I really like Sandy Patty.

Together as a band we’d say Little Comets, Last Dinosaurs, Bombay Bicycle Club. We all listen to different music all of the time. Non-musical influences…. Smash Bros? Travel. We all love the idea of travel. Zach has lived all over. He’s been to like 40 countries.

What is the weirdest show you’ve ever played?

The park show, in the middle of that sculpture garden. We get there, we show up, and there’s no one. Like 50 8-year old kids. 20! And like six adults.

What are you obsessed with right now?

As a band, I’d say we’re obsessed with Super Smash Brothers. The Nintendo 64 version, mind you.

Nathan Stocker: I’m probably obsessed with women.

Whistler Allen: I think my obsession is honestly doing nothing. Because this last year has been so much work. Half of it I haven’t enjoyed because it wasn’t my music. So my obsession is to try to find nothing to do.


How did your band come together?

We came together as college pals. We were like, “how can we make a silly different kind of show?” We were just trying to do something different, interactive high-energy. Along the way it became a kids’ band.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

It’s difficult to describe even after you’ve seen a show. It’s like hyper pop. A lot of people call it Sesame Street meets the Backstreet Boys. We say we’re an interactive dance duo, not a band.

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Probably Spice Girls, Blink 182. We grew up listening to pop punk stuff. Dinsey’s Alladin. Disney stuff. Camp cheers. Show choir musicals. It’s a mash-up between 90s pop punk and show choir musicals. Non-musical influences… Theater. The Flaming Lips shows: the big ball he climbs in, the confetti, big giant hands. Beach volleyball, that’s important. Board games with like a community element to [them]. Nachos. Milk Duds.

What is the weirdest show you’ve ever played?

Every show. We play shows for kids, we play for adults. There were a couple of senior high school all-night parties. After the hypnotist. The kids have gone through the most emotional day of their life , they’re all hyped up on cotton candy. Then they have the hypnotist. The lights are off for like an hour, kids are sleeping. The Cat Video Festival. We opened for a bunch of people holding their cats.

What are you obsessed with right now?

Bryan Atchison: I’m obsessed with whatever the new top 40 person. Right now it’s the new Arianna Grande record. Also, I like teen pop. Do you know Five Seconds of Summer? They opened for One Direction last summer.

Neil Olstad: I’m obsessed with my new puppy. Her name’s Josie. You can follow her on Instagram.

Welcome back to WAM!

28 Aug

Back-to-school means new friendships, new opportunities, and new experiences! The Weisman is a space for the University of Minnesota community to enjoy and cultivate all of the newness.

The galleries are always FREE. Students are welcome to visit at any time, study at the tables in the Riverview gallery, or eat lunch upstairs on the outdoor terrace.

The student tour guide program is open to students from any academic discipline. Students lead public tours in the galleries and encourage discussion about the museum collection. Applications are due on September 12th!

WAM offers students the opportunity to affordably rent original works of art to hang in their personal home or office. The selection is on view at the WAM Shop.

WAM O RAMA is on September 5th, 2014! FREE music (Koo Koo Kangaroo, Hippo Campus, and Aubades), FREE Mesa pizza, FREE screen printed t-shirts, FREE henna, and FREE massages are all part of this beginning-of-the-year celebration!

UMN Students’ Choice

9 Jul

IMG_8564 (1)

The summer portion of WAM@20, the yearlong 20th anniversary exhibit that explores different methods of choice, is curated by Minnesotans. This includes input from Minnesota artists, Minnesota “notables,” Minnesota State Fair goers, and University of Minnesota students.

Students had the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces at two events last winter. They scrolled through images on iPads set up at the Flashback party, and at one of WAM Collective’s study nights, and chose their favorite accession from each year since 1993.


The chosen works are currently on display in the gallery (and a few are shown below)!


Mudman, Hidden Beach
Katherine Turczan
gelatin silver print

Students that live on campus in the summer usually find their way to “Hidden Beach” on Cedar Lake near Uptown Minneapolis. The Mudman keeps an eye on the mud pits there. He picks up trash, counts mud pit attendees, and lets everyone know where the “good” mud is on any given day. He is even mentioned on Wikipedia!


Mentioned on the “UMN Students’ Choice” gallery plaque:


Ex Libris Hedda Deutsch
Jaro Beran
bookplate print


Red Grooms
offset lithograph


Untitled (music box)
Christian Marclay
wood, metal


How to read an accession number: Accession numbers are used to catalogue objects in a museum. Each piece has its own unique number. Usually, part of the number refers to the year the object was acquired. The other numbers can indicate the order it was acquired that year or refer to different categories, such as period or geographical region, in the museum.


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