In April 2015, at ROY G BIV Gallery I had the opportunity to have my first somewhat solo exhibition outside of the university (it was really a 2-person show) but we each had a separate exhibition space. The whole weekend was fun and refreshing coming off of my MFA thesis show. My mom, sister Raquel, my little niece Reagan, and my good friend Kella all showed up to help make this show possible! I exhibited two pieces MILK/MILK was a one night event performed by my mother. She passed out two different whole milk samples one from an organic farm near Columbus and the other was the stock brand from Kroger. My mother grew up on a dairy farm and still drinks warm milk each night similarly to the fresh warm milk she would have drank directly from the cow. This always fascinated me so I worked together with my mom to create this piece.
The primary piece was The Relational Table. The Relational Table is a project in shared eating that transforms the gallery into a place of gathering for an intimate meal to take place each day. Spanning 22 days, the course of the exhibition, it brings together residents of Columbus, Ohio. The project exists dually both in the gallery and the community. The table is the central meeting point in a chain reaction that began on the evening of Friday, April 3, 2015 with an inaugural meal between a guest and myself.
Each day a meal is shared with an invited guest of the guest from the preceding meal. Each person will share a total of two meals one as a guest and one as a host. A record of individuals who eat at the table will be documented through photographs on the wall of the gallery as the exhibition progresses.
Through the exchange of food the gallery functions as the site of shared meals. A journal acts as a recording between each participant passed along from one person to another. The journal is a written collection of stories that accumulate each day. It is absent from the exhibition space as it is shared only between those participating in the project. The Relational Table uses ceramic dishes to bring awareness to the connection that take place at the table, within the community, and in the city in which we all reside.
MILK/MILK by Jeni Hansen Gard & Jackie Hansen