By India Amos
Feasting and film culminated in one delicious evening this past Saturday, all thanks to the Student Activities Office, which partnered with the Gund Gallery and Cinearts to bring this event to campus. “Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art,” an exhibit curated in the Smart Museum in Chicago, opened in the Gallery this July and inspired the first night of a “Dinner and a Movie” series of food trucks and film screenings.
Director of the Gund Gallery Natalie Marsh said the exhibit celebrates artists who “explore the exchange — the meaningful exchange — of food and drink, which is central to their artistic practice.”
Keeping the “Feast” theme in mind, Cinearts planned a four-part, food-related film series to accompany the exhibit.
At the event on Saturday, Taco Sherpa, a food truck which hails from Granville, Ohio and specializes in Korean barbeque, offered Kenyon community members an alternate dinner option. The truck parked along Middle Path in front of the Gallery, selling bulgogi tacos and other delicacies to curious customers and even taking payment via K-Card.
Afterwards, organizers screened the 2014 film Chef in the Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater. Directed by Jon Favreau, the movie is based loosely on celebrity chef Roy Choi’s story about leaving the restaurant business to start his own Korean taco truck.
Emily Sussman ’15, a Cinearts member and Gund Gallery associate, explained how everything tied together. “The way we’ve organized this ‘Feast’ series [is that] it’s supposed to kind of work with what’s going up in the Gallery right now,” she said. “For every movie … we’ve brought the appropriate-inspired cuisine food truck that goes with the movie.”
Cinearts works closely with the Gallery to choose films that will be well-received on campus.
“We [in Cinearts] do not operate entirely independently from the Gund Gallery,” Sussman said. “We strive to have at least one [film] series per semester that’s related to what we’re doing up in the Gallery. So ‘Feast’ kind of talks about coming together as communities.”
Marsh expressed her enthusiasm for the collaborative project, saying, “We’re excited to work with Cinearts because it’s fun to work with students who explore the theme of an exhibition.”
The camaraderie of feasting has not been lost on the organizations who helped to bring these food-related exhibits to campus. We like to work with as many organizations as we can on campus so we can get as much attention as possible and have the means to have all these great programs that we do,” Sussman said.
Because the people of Gambier and Kenyon are so intertwined, the “Feast” program has pulled the already close-knit stitches of the community a little tighter, allowing citizens, students and faculty to bond by eating together on Ransom Lawn.
Professor of Religious Studies Ennis Edmonds, who attended the Chef screening, said, “I think the movie [reflected] … what we were aiming for at Kenyon: to bring people together, to work cooperatively [and] to achieve certain goals.”
Sussman also saw similarities between the ethos of the series and the spirit of Gambier.
“Certainly in ‘Feast,’ there [are] a lot of works that are inherently sociological [and] anthropological in nature,” Sussman said. “For a lot of Kenyon students, that’s a draw. There’s a lot of ritual in eating.”