Esther Choi: Rem Brûlée, and Other Hits: Social Alchemy as a Spatial Practice

W.M. Keck Lecture Hall

November 14, 2018 at 7:00pm

Esther Choi is an artist, architectural historian, and writer based in New York. Informed by her training in architectural history and theory, her multidisciplinary work approaches the histories and artefacts of the built and managed environments as tools to probe the politics of intersubjectivity and sharing the commons. Choi is the co-editor of two books with Marrikka Trotter: Architecture Is All Over (Columbia Books on Architecture, 2017) and Architecture at the Edge of Everything Else (MIT Press, 2010). Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Art Papers, The Journal of Architectural Education, Architectural Review, 032c/ SSENSE, and PIN-UP. She has contributed essays to exhibition catalogues such as Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia (2015) and Reaper: Richard Hamilton, Sigfried Giedion (2017). Choi has participated in speaking engagements at The Museum of Modern Art, Cranbrook Art Museum, E-Flux, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and The Centre for Experimental Humanities at NYU, among other venues.

After stumbling across an elaborate dinner menu crafted for Walter Gropius in 1937, food became a spatial, social, and sculptural medium for artist and architectural historian, Esther Choi. This lecture will explore the Fluxus-inspired participatory events called Le Corbuffets that Choi began organizing in 2015. Seeking to transform the increasingly rarified activities of commensality and aesthetic connoisseurship into unusual forms of kinship, the project explores how food can be used as a design tool to examine the politics of sharing, while probing and blurring the boundaries between art, design, and everyday life. A conceptual cookbook based on these events entitled Le Corbuffet will be published by Prestel in 2019.