This summer, the MIT List Visual Arts Center presents a series of distance programs with six artist-designed menus that cater to what’s “on the table” when it comes to sharing a meal today. Participating artists include Lexie Smith, Seitu Ken Jones, Jon Rubin & Habibullah Sorosh, Lexa Walsh, Asunción Molinos Gordo and TJ Shin.
Food is able to evoke powerful memories that connect us to people, places and experiences. A meal shared with friends or family is one of life’s great pleasures. Food is inextricably tied to cultural identities, but current circumstances have invoked new challenges to come together around a table. From rising food costs to physical limitations on gatherings, meals shared with friends and loved ones have taken different forms in recent years.
These menus are guided by current policy surrounding food access and sustainability while considering the historical precedents of artists who have made art through communal dining. While some artist-designed menus may provide dinner instructions or recipes to prepare, others will be imaginative prompts that invite creative interpretation.
A new iteration of On the table will be posted on the List Center website every other Wednesday, June 15 through August 25, 2022. Entrants are welcome to participate in programs asynchronously throughout the season.
This series will include screen-reader compatible PDF files for the written components.
This program is free and open to our global audience. We recommend that you sign up to receive a new version of On the table in your inbox every two weeks throughout the summer.
Sign up and sign up to receive menus.
About the artists
Asuncion Molinos Gordo is a research artist heavily influenced by disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. She uses installation, photography, video, sound and other media to examine the rural world driven by a strong desire to understand the value and complexity of its cultural production, as well as the burdens that keep it invisible and marginalized. She has produced work reflecting land use, nomadic architecture, farmers’ strikes, bureaucracy in the land, rural labor transformation, biotechnology and global food trade. Molinos Gordo won the Sharjah Biennial Prize 2015 with his project WAM (World Agriculture Museum) and represented the official Spanish section at the 13th Havana Biennial 2019. His work has been exhibited in places such as V&A Museum (London), ARNOLFINI (Bristol), The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Darat Al Funun (Amman), Tranzit (Prague), Cappadox Festival (Uchisar-Turkey).
Seitu Ken Jones is a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and creator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Working between the arts and the public spheres, Jones channels the spirit of radical social movements into experiences that foster critical conversations and nurture more just and vibrant communities from the ground up. He is recognized as a dynamic collaborator and a creative force in civic engagement.
Jon Rubin is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions in public life that reinvent individual, collective and institutional behavior. He exhibited at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; the Shanghai Biennial; the Carnegie International, the Lyon Biennale; as well as in backyards, in living rooms and on street corners. Conflict Kitchen, his seven-year collaborative work with artist Dawn Weleski, was named as one of the 100 works of art that defined the decade by Artnet News. He recently collaborated with Iranian artist and curator Sohrab Kashani on a Creative Capital-funded project, Tiled The other apartment. Jon is a professor and graduate director at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. is an interdisciplinary artist who creates interventions in public life that reinvent individual, collective and institutional behavior. He exhibited at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; the Shanghai Biennial; the Carnegie International, the Lyon Biennale; as well as in backyards, in living rooms and on street corners. Conflict Kitchen, his seven-year collaborative work with artist Dawn Weleski, was named as one of the 100 works of art that defined the decade by Artnet News. He recently collaborated with Iranian artist and curator Sohrab Kashani on a Creative Capital-funded project, Tiled The other apartment. Jon is a professor and graduate director at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University.
TJ Shin is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and speciesism. Inspired by decentralized ecologies and queer sociality, they create living installations and imagine an ever-expanding self that exists beyond the confines of one’s skin. Shin is a 2020 New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellow and a 2020 Visiting Artist at Urban Glass in Brooklyn. Shin has exhibited internationally at Queens Museum, Lewis Center for the Arts, Wave Hill, Recess, Doosan Gallery, Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, Cuchifritos Gallery, Knockdown Center and Cody Dock, London.
Lexie Smith is a baker and maker from New York. She uses bread as a vehicle of eternal questioning and groups her explorations under the title Bread on Earth, an art and research project she founded in 2016. Her writings, mostly on bread and cereals, have been printed in publications around the world. She currently works on programs and strategy for Sky High Farm, a non-profit farm in Hudson Valley, New York, dedicated to reducing food insecurity and empowering of greater food sovereignty. She divides her time between the Hudson Valley and New York.
Habibullah Sorosh is an academic, screenwriter and playwright whose research focuses on the history of Afghan cinema, the structural effects of absurd dramas and Kazakh historical genre films. Born in Jaghori district, Ghazni province in Afghanistan, Habib earned his bachelor’s degree in film and theater from Kabul University’s fine arts department and a master’s degree in art criticism from the National Academy of Arts in Kazakhstan. For the past ten years, Habib has been a professor at Kabul University in the Department of Fine Arts and Dramatic Literature. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University’s Schools of Drama and Art, where he studies theater, film, and art theory.
Lexa Walsh is an artist, cultural worker and creator of experiences. Walsh produces projects, exhibitions, publications and objects, employing social engagement, institutional critique and radical hospitality. She creates platforms for interaction across hierarchies, representing multiple voices and inventing new ways of belonging, not only for people, but also for collections and archives. Walsh has held numerous exhibitions, tours and artist residencies internationally. Currently, she is launching the Bay Area Contemporary Arts Archive (BACAA) and is a Virtual Artist in Residence at the Frank Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University for the upcoming exhibition. Shall Make, Shall Be: The Bill of Rights at Play.
About the MIT List Center for the Visual Arts
The List Visual Arts Center, MIT’s museum of contemporary art, collects, commissions, and presents rigorous, provocative, artist-centered projects that engage MIT and the global art community.
The List Center’s galleries, programs, and public art collection are always free and open to everyone.