Enemy Kitchen, performance lunch in collaboration with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

The seminar Looters, Smugglers and Collectors: Provenance Research and the Art Market will be held on 29 and 30 October in connection with the exhibition In Search of Matisse at the Henie Onstad Art Centre. The exhibition brings to the fore the plundering of cultural heritages and works of art. 

The first part of the seminar will be held at the Henie Onstad Art Centre, presenting research and relevant curated projects, as well as projects by the artists who have contributed to the exhibition. Part two of the seminar will take place at the Fritt Ord Foundation's premises at Uranienborgveien 2, where Michael Rakowitz will present his performance lunch 'Enemy Kitchen'. Please note: Separate registration is required for each part of the seminar. 

Seminar and Book Launch Day 1
Registration here. Fee 250 NOK.

The seminar seeks to broaden our understanding of provenance research (ownership history) to include consideration of the artwork’s social life – that is to say, the social and societal constructs through which art moves and the obliterating consequences of contemporary looting for cultural existence. This wider lens opens up an extensive examination of the relationship between acts of aggression and identity, art history and power, and politics in connection with questions of ownership and the role of the market. Looters, Smugglers and Collectors: Provenance Research and the Market will present historical research by scholars, projects and case studies by artists, as well as a presentation of the consequences of provenance research conducted by Henie Onstad Kunstsenter.

09:00–10:00 Registration and coffee. Exhibition is open

10:00 –10:30 Tone Hansen: Introduction to the seminar and the reader Looters, Smugglers and Collectors: Provenance Research and the Market

10:30– 11:30 Uwe Fleckner: Dealing with Contradictions: National Socialist Doctrines and the Modern Art Market. Q&A with Dag Erik Elgin

11:30 – 12:30 Michael Rakowitz. Q&A with Milena Høgsberg

Lunch until 13:30 – Exhibition open

13:30–14:30 TBA. Q&A with Tone Hansen

14:30–15:15 Mounira Al Solh

15:15–15:45 Coffee and snack

15:45 – 16:45 Hans Haacke in conversation with Alexander Alberro

16:45 – 17:30 Ana Maria Bresciani: A Collection’s Provenance Questioned

Rakowitz Performative Lunch Day 2
Registration for Enemy Kitchen 30 October must be sent to thf@hok.no by 20 October. No admittance fee. 

Michael Rakowitz: Enemy Kitchen
Cooking workshop at Fritt Ord, Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo 30 October, from 13.00–16.00

Enemy Kitchen will manifest as a performative lunch for a number of 60 guests at Fritt Ord. A series of Iraqi-Jewish recipes will be cooked by a selected group of people with connection to Iraq. The food will be served on limited-edition paper reproductions of china looted from Sadam Hussein’s palaces after Coalition Forces destroyed them in 2003.

Enemy Kitchen is an ongoing collaboration between Michael Rakowitz and his Iraqi-Jewish mother, in which he compiles Baghdadi recipes and teaches them to different public audiences. For the first incarnation of the project, Rakowitz cooked with a group of middle school and high school students who live in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York and participate in programs at the Hudson Guild Community Center. The project functioned as a social sculpture: while cooking and eating, the students engaged each other on the topic of war and drew parallels with their own lives, at times making comparisons with bullies in relation to how they perceive the conflict. Further plans included a pilot for anEnemy Kitchen cooking show, featuring Rakowitz and the students from Hudson Guild, to be broadcasted on public access television and online, and a series of lessons for New York City public school cafeteria chefs, to help them serve Iraqi food as part of their everyday menus.

Now living in Chicago, teaching at Northwestern’s Department of Art Theory & Practice, Rakowitz has resurrected Enemy Kitchen as a repurposed ’60s-era ice-cream truck. And while that truck was staffed by veterans of the Iraq War, the food was cooked by Jawher Shaer and his two sons, who own and run Milo’s Pita Place in Rogers Park. The Shaer men were raised cooking Iraqi specialties such as masgûf, a special grilled fish that is the national dish of Iraq; shish kebab of chicken and lamb; tomatoes stews served over rice; grape leaves stuffed with sautéed zucchini and eggplant; and pacha, an all-day dish in which sheep’s head and trotters are simmered with its stomach, which has been filled with seasoned rice and ground meat then stitched up like a football about to burst in broth.

The project is a collaboration between Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Fritt Ord and Fond for dansk – norsk samarbeid.

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Each year, Fritt Ord awards the Freedom of Expression Foundation Prize to individuals or institutions that have shown civil courage and worked to defend and strengthen freedom of expression and the conditions for it in Norway, especially by encouraging dynamic debate.