Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Out on the street with the rest of the food-carts

A couple of weeks ago I went downtown on my lunchbreak (this is my job this summer) to take the cart out of its art-cage in the mall and roll it along the pavement for the dubious pleasure of the public. It was great to get it out int the sun.


This nice lady said that it was "so Portland". She was very enthusiastic.


To the Cart-Pod! Portland has experienced an explosion of street-food in recent years; many of the carts are staffed by immigrants (although most are not) and thus the cart-pods have a highly pluralist international quality. At first glance, the Viande de Brousse cart fits right in.


Upon closer inspection, it bore a burden of doubt. Curiosity. It certainly vexed people. I stood to the side with my camera, and spoke to folks if they noticed me; that was a conscious choice. I wanted primarily to see what people would do, confronted with a lunch option such as this.


These fellows did not know WHAT to think.


After a morning of vigorous financial activity, perhaps a snack?



Hey, at least the cart got to make some friends. It was an interesting sortie, with limited outreach.I handed out a few of the pamphlets that accompany the gallery show, and had an amusing exchange with 
the fellow who is in charge of the Portland Food Carts blog. He was tickled. He took a pamphlet. 

During the following week I revised down the "menu" to a more concise single page. The next post will be about the cart's next excursion, with more public interaction.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

PLACE opening, June 18th, 2011

The cart in situ with its oval ground of dirt, sand, and detritus. 

We based the color scheme on Kinshasa's taxicabs.

Sauce bottles, cookpot - our plan initially was to heat broth in the pot via a can of sterno beneath; unfortunately the highly sensitive mall sprinkler system said no.

Amusement? Horror?


Saturday, June 18, 2011

video
Here is a short video of the almost-finished install! Tomorrow, June 18th, Saturday at 6pm is the opening, and if you are in Portland you should stop by!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 1 of the PLACE Install


The thing is afoot: the mall the perfect place for an opening.












Friday, June 10, 2011

The cart itself



Here is a preview of the central object: the Viande de Brousse food-cart. It's almost ready; just a few cosmetic refinements remain before the process of installation begins.

Press Release for Opening on June 18th

Here's the press release I sent out yesterday. We will begin installing the work on the 14th; if you are in town, please come by and look!


Viande de Brousse

A bushmeat food-cart art project


June 9th, 2011

For Immediate Release


Contact: Roger Peet (503) 753 7027 mold2000@yahoo.com

Website: www.viandedebrousse.com


Portland, Oregon – There will be an opening reception for Viande de Brousse, a bushmeat food-cart art installation, at the PLACE gallery on the third floor of Pioneer Place Mall, 700 Southwest Fifth Avenue (Atrium Building) on June 18th, 2011, from 6-9 pm. A collaboration between Portland artists Roger Peet and Ryan Burns, this project is part sculpture and part-installation. Its subject is the maelstrom of violence, ecological devastation and international greed that has engulfed the forests and peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the past century. We have made a copy of a small food-cart, similar to those seen in cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, which seems to be serving the severed hands of primates. But which primates? Who is serving them, and to whom?

From the horrors of Belgium's colonial regime to the contemporary scramble for the rare minerals that power our smart-phones and gaming systems, the severed hand has become a grim symbol of the world's cruelty and indifference to Congo. Civilians have their hands cut as punishment for non-compliance by the militias that control the mines. Chimpanzees and gorillas are shot down, cut apart and smoked in deep forest camps, their meat going to feed the hordes of miners digging minerals from the red earth. Their hands, especially prized by expatriate communities, find their way into the burgeoning global trade in exotic forest products. The women of Congo suffer one of the highest rates of rape in the world, and rape has become a tested weapon of war. The biodiversity of the forests falls before global demand for high-technology products, timber, cheap labor, and fresh meat.

We want to examine our complicity in these processes. This project is an attempt to describe the complexities of this dark knot of human need and greed.

Roger Peet and Ryan Burns are Portland artists who make art that addresses environmental and social issues on local, national and international levels. They are recipients of numerous grants and awards and have exhibited their works around the world. Roger is a member of the well-known Justseeds Artists' Cooperative (www.justseeds.org), and Ryan's previous work addressing Congo's mineral wars can be seen at http://profanerelics.wordpress.com/


  • Saturday, June 18th, 2011, 6-9 pm

  • PLACE gallery, Pioneer Place Mall Atrium Building, 3rd floor, 700 SW 5th Ave.

  • A collaboration between Roger Peet and Ryan Burns

  • www.viandedebrousse.com


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Every enterprise needs a logo.


The finished logos! I think they turned out rather well. It's an interesting thought experiment, to imagine the process of branding this product. It's also interesting to balance the injection of humor into analyses of such a deeply grisly subject. I think that almost everything goes better with a few jokes: after all, all humor comes from tragedy. Isn't that what humor is really for, at the heart of it? The only true victory over horror is the ability to laugh.