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© Alisa Tanaka-King 2020

F.O.C.U.S ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

HOW IT WORKS

F.O.C.U.S is a three part project that combines visual art, cooking, community engagement, and an element of performance.

Part 1: Research & Dinner Event

Research
Alisa spends time with the local community, connecting with producers, foragers and community members to learn about the place she is visiting. During this time she takes field notes, writing and sketching, gathering information to design the Dinner Event.

Dinner Event
A public event where people are invited to attend a dining experience (lunch or dinner) hosted by Alisa. The dining experience is a ticketed (fee can be waved) event which features local and seasonal produce, alongside a guided conversation.
A number of Dinner Events can be held in the one location, depending on demand and number of guests attending.
After the final Dinner Event, a final feast “For the Love of Left Overs” takes place to use up all remaining ingredients. “For the Love of Left Overs” is an open, non-ticketed event.

Part 2: Exhibit


The field notes, sketches, photographs and recipes which are gathered during Part 1, are then collated into a series of paintings, drawings and art books. These works are available for exhibition and for sale in conjunction with, or independently of Part 1.

VENUES/SPACES

F.O.C.U.S is a versatile piece that can be presented as a stand alone show, accompany an exhibition of the paintings and drawings from previous locations, or be an event included as part of a festival, fair, or conference.

The Dinner Event can take place in either an indoor or outdoor location. It requires a dining table, 10 chairs, and a minimum of 1.2m bench space, though these can be non-traditional in form. Access to a stove, oven, fridge and washing up facilities are required, ideally within reasonable proximity to the the dining space. If these are not provided, access to multiple power points are required so that electric hot plates and refrigeration equipment can be brought it.

Ideally Alisa will have access to the dining space the day before the first Dinner Event. A minimum of 4hrs access prior to the Dinner Event is required.

LOGISTICS

Running Time: The Dinner Event runs for approximately 2hrs

Age Guidance: 16+

Technical Requirements: F.O.C.U.S does not require a technician/stage manager, but access to power is essential.

Timeframes:


F.O.C.U.S can be booked independently as Part 1 or Part 2, or together, as Part 1 & 2.

Part 1 requires preparation and research time incorporated as follows:

5-7 days of research and Dinner Event design (this is an ideal timeframe, research and Dinner Event design can be done in less time if necessary. This requires assistance with prior research and communication)

Dinner Events can be during the day or the evening, both meals are made up of 6-8 small courses.

Ideally Alisa will have access to the dining space a minimum of 4hrs prior to the event commencing.

To close a F.O.C.U.S season, and promote a no-waste practice, an event called For the Love of Leftovers is held. This is an open event to gather one last time, share food, ideas around sustainability and community. For the Love of Leftovers does not have a set number of guests, and for that reason may not be able to be held in the same space as the Dinner Events and Exhibited work. A space in close proximity, that feels welcoming and host a larger number of people is ideal. 

REVIEWS & COMMENTARY

“I was struck by the balance Alisa struck between the food itself (a Japanese-inflected omakase, carefully crafted and very delicious) and the meta-structure of a dinner party, where the guests were asked to both receive the food as a gift, and test their ability to stay focused on the experience. It made me think in new ways about the role of host and guest, the provenance of the food, and the process of conversation, much in the tradition of a tea ceremony, where tradition and structure guide the entire experience. Serving and sharing food is deeply cultural; Alisa simultaneously unmoored and raised a myriad of expectations concerning how it takes place. It was a subtle and well-considered installation.”

 


“The whole experience was elegant, was raw, was honest, was beautiful. That evening is forever logged in my brain as one of the rare experiences that pleases every sense.”

“I was moved as a participant of the project. Refreshing and genuine, this dinner project uncovered insights about the site through carefully chosen and presented edibles, delivered with precision and intention. The dinner was also a platform where I felt free -- through thoughtful and unobtrusive guidance from the artist -- to share observations, experiences and thoughts. It was a surprise, a feast, a poem. The artist has inspired me with new understanding about performance and interaction.”

 


“I was taken on a multi sensorial journey that made me reflect on the environment I was living in. Each meal revealed the intersections between stories, people and natural elements of the location. It felt as a once in a life time happening, where strangers found each other in a remote place to share a relatable story.”

 


“My experience at dinner was gratifying. The way in which nature is integrated, absorbed, made me travel to the past and to the future. To the past where everything was simpler, and a future where our survival and the way we consume products may be more in harmony with our environment, because we give value to what we have at hand, what nature gives us generously, and we are able to do with that not only something beautiful. Also delicious! That is what Alisa inspires with her dinners, a kind of magical dream of pleasure, sweetness and love.”

F.O.C.U.S was featured in The Archive Collective publication 'Manifesto' in 2019 you can download the full article here