photo: KIOKU Keizo

Food Rental

Material/ Techniquemixed media, video
Size/ Durationdimensions variable
Copyright Notice© SASAMOTO Aki
Year of acquisition/ donation2018
DescriptionBorn in Kanagawa, Japan in 1980. Lives and works in New York, USA.

Sasamoto Aki dropped out of high school in Japan, and went on to study dance, sculpture and mathematics in the UK and US. After receiving her BA from Wesleyan University, in 2007 she earned her MFA at Columbia University. In her work, she analyses and develops human actions and situations she herself has observed in daily life, delving beneath the surface. She is known for her unique style of staging performances while speaking in spaces filled with objects she modifies in peculiar ways that are finally presented as installation works. In these spaces where the traces of her actions remain, audiences are able to imagine, interpret and develop into narratives the time that has preceded.

Stemming from an idea gleaned at a food court with stands selling different types of cuisine, "Food Rental" is a device enabling Sasamoto herself to take orders from “customers” based on a menu at a wooden food cart and giving ad-lib performances in response. Debuting in New York in 2015, <Food Rental> has also been performed in Tokyo and Kanazawa. Viewers can watch footage of these performances on a video screen next to the cart. Many of the evocative menu items, which include “Cliché of Romance,” “Airport Bathroom” and “Diseases with Complications,” concern mental activity associated with anxiety stemming from human self-scrutiny in contemporary society and the impulse to seek answers, with Sasamoto offering performances using various foodstuffs and equipment as if preparing food at a stall. The food cart absent the artist and the video recordings awaken in people a latent feeling of exhaustion while also arousing the impulsive belief that there may be answers.