working potatoes: audiovisual memory

Vibe Overgaard and Emilia Bergmark
26 February – 7 March 2020
Thursday – Saturday 13.00-17.00

Working Potatoes was a performative dinner lecture played out at an elaborately set dinner table in the Mariakapel on February 22nd 2020. Three courses, all consisting of the traditional worker’s crop, the potato, were served to diners in the Maria Kapel. A worker’s bench and stools on either side of the table was reserved for the so-called workers – staff and artistic participants – reflecting the constant shifting positions of people in different (work) contexts.

During the supper, attendees were educated on the revolutionary history of the European potato and were invited to think about the ways in which work structures our lives and desires within capitalism. The first course consisted of a home made potato croquet with gold leaf inspired by Marie Antoinette’s own recipe, accompanied by the animated life story of Potato the Great. The second course, a composition of different hotchpotchs (stamppot) arranged as industrial and organic farming plots along with a piece of church-shaped cheese, was complemented by a performance lecture by Vibe Overgaard about work, property and a case study of the ‘Opperdoeser ronde’ – a local, protected potato variety harvested in a 1,5 km radius around the church in the village of Opperdoes. The last course, ‘Appel en Aardappel’, consisted of a sculpturally arranged baked apple, roasted potato chips and a shot of vodka served in a chilled potato glass, with a side of singing by Merve Kılıçer, Dagmar Bosma, Nadia van Essen and Bergur Thomas Anderson, who performed Rihanna’s hit song Work specially arranged as a Gregorian labour chant.

Untill 7 March, the instalment in the chapel will be on view as an audiovisual memory of the evening. The video work ‘Potato the Great’ can be seen in the HMK cinema.

From January to March 2020 Hotel Maria Kapel invites artists to reflect on the topic of work. How we work, what it means to us, and why we work so much. Vibe Overgaard and Emilia Bergmark are the first artists in residence to deal with the subject through the performative dinner lecture ‘Working Potatoes’.

‘Working Potatoes’ is part of the year programme ‘Slow Burn’ at Hotel Maria Kapel. Over this year of reflection and redirection the institution asks how we can build (institutional) practices and spaces of care within the limits of an exploitative system, with which we are all complicit.

Photography: Bart Treuren