Walking into an art gallery to the cacophony of clinking cutlery, undulating voices and the background melodies of various exhibitions (including an automated PVC pipe organ that plays a traditional Lithuanian drinking song) is rather unusual. Yet, it’s surprisingly welcoming in the case of Midori Mitamura’s exhibition Art & Breakfast now showing at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA).
Mitamura is a Tokyo based artist who creates installations that combine photography and video, text, found materials and everyday objects gathered while travelling. At various times throughout the course of the exhibition, which runs until July 23, the show plays host to a free breakfast. Like Mitamura’s constantly changing assemblage of photographs, texts, paper cut-outs, ephemera and other unexpected objects – described by curator Rosemary Forde as an “interior monologue of sorts” –the breakfasts themselves provides an unexpected and evolving experience. Her idea for these breakfasts stemmed from the notion of striving for an authentic experience within art and a celebration of the social rituals of everyday life.
Laid out alongside the exhibition are a number of neatly set tables and a variety of breakfast foods, from cereal and fresh fruit to freshly brewed coffee. All the visitors, mostly strangers to one another, gather and enjoy getting to know each other and the artist over a humble breakfast in stimulating surrounds. The location and situation provide for an intriguing atmosphere and one can’t help but enjoy being involved in this ‘open work’.