ongoingFink's at Grazer Kunstverein
Department of Ultimology
Three Rock Mountain Study
Fink’s is an ongoing project that comprises research, events, talks and the preparation and preservation of food in the context of the Grazer Kunstverein, an art organisation in Graz, Austria. The project acts as a threshold, providing a reception space for hospitality and events that relate to the exhibition programme, and a studio kitchen for preparing food. A shelving structure, bar and seating system (designed by Graz-based architecture studios Brauchst and Studio Magic) is arranged to display ongoing projects, and invite visitors to linger, taste, smell, and ask questions about what they see. Each season, I prepare meals for openings, meetings and other events, or in collaboration with other artists as part of their work. Fink’s offers a site for hospitality, alternative research and exploration, and a living archive of activities, suggesting the possibility of knowledge production in a multitude of forms. In 2017 the focus of Fink’s was on research into edible plants and herb lore, borne out of research through conversation with local food producers, and the collection and exchange of ingredients. I produced a powder for each season, derived from herbs, fruit, vegetables and spices encountered in Graz and Styria, and through other visiting artists. Ingredients and leftovers were collected over a period of cooking for events, openings and talks, conversation and workshops. I processed these through dehydration and grinding in the kitchen studio, resulting in a powder, or dust representing each season. Visitors to the Grazer Kunstverein were invited to take home a sample of each season's powder.
Fink's bar during a workshop on vinegar making by Styrian producer Anita Konig. Photo by Fiona Hallinan
Summer 2017's powder came from a trip to the garden of local produce Anita Konig and contained gooseberry, iris, pigweed, marshmallow, baldmoney, bergamot, pimpinella, jostaberry, fennel, lady's mantle, yarrow, buckhorn, black mullein, parsnip, cauliflower mushroom, amber, ambrosia, horsetail grass and laurel. Visitors to the Grazer Kunstverein in Summer 2017 were offered a sample of the powder and a glass of yarrow cordial.
Dehydrating. Photos by Fiona Hallinan
In 2018 Fink’s hosted the Department of Ultimology. The shelving structure was used to display a slideshow as part of a research project titled What Where/Was Wo, commissioned by steirischer herbst and co-produced by Grazer Kunstverein, in collaboration with Nina Höchtl and Julia Wieger. A questionnaire developed as part of this project was offered to visitors, with cups of gingko biloba tea.
In 2020 as part of the off-site programme Grazer Kunstverein is moving Fink’s will host We Eat The Ones We Love, a participatory reading group and collective meal in real and virtual space. This event will look at Food and Death through the shared examination and discussion of three texts, followed by shared food.