Final Meal Request #309. Video still.
Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present Final Meals, a community-based performance by Lucky Pierre. The project opens Sunday, June 3 with a public reception and video installation from 4 to 6 PM, and a conversation between the artists at 4:30 PM.
As published by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice since 1982, the last meals requested by Texas death row inmates are prepared and consumed—a customary ritual that is concurrently filmed. Over the course of a week, Lucky Pierre will cook recreations of these final meals at testsite. A volunteer is then videotaped eating the meal. The recorded video is a single 22-mintue overhead black and white shot. The food is the focus of the video, what is prepared, what is consumed. The daily experience of food consumption, through Final Meals, becomes a final gesture towards and marker of state-sanctioned comfort and violence. The participant moves from a space of welcome—joining the event—to a space of contemplation and eating in silence.
310 final meals have been published online by the State of Texas—in 2003, the State ceased publicly listing final meal requests. Over the past 10 years, Lucky Pierre has now re-created 220 meals. Via residencies at testsite and the Grace Church of Logan Square, Chicago, Lucky Pierre is working to complete the filming of 310 meals. When completed, the project will include over 100 hours of footage. The compiled videos will be included in Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System, an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston curated by Risa Puleo, opening in August 2018.