“Excito Excito”: A Veritable Feast


Artist Statement

Ex-ci’-to-tox-in: a substance added to foods and beverages that literally stimulates neurons to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees. Can be found in such ingredients as monosodium glutamate, aspartame (NutraSweet®), cysteine, hydrolyzed protein, and aspartic acid.

“Excito Excito”: A Veritable Feast is a collaborative artwork that creates, documents, and serves food dishes that represent and examine the past, present and foreseeable future of American food creation, production, manufacturing, and consumption. The centerpiece of the installation is an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s painting “Freedom From Want.”

An elegant tablescape is filled with a variety of food dishes that represent three distinct categories: Past, Present, and Future. Past dishes are prepared with natural ingredients and whole foods. Present food dishes are made with a combination of whole food and artificial ingredients. The Future dishes are created from mostly artificial ingredients. The viewer is invited to take a seat at the feast and indulge in this bizarre assortment of food. Each “guest” is provided with a menu that lists the ingredients of each dish, from butter and salt to hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast extract.

Excito! Excito!: A Veritable Feast has a photography component to the artwork. The still life photographs in the “Vanitas Flair” series of this artwork envision the style of 16th century Dutch Golden Age still life paintings to further emphasize the contrast between natural “whole” foods and artificially flavored foods as demonstrated in the Past, Present, and Future dishes.


photography and concept: Sanh Brian Tran
installation and concept: Jessie Horning
concept: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung

special thanks to Richard Rinehart, Director and Chief Curator of the Samek Art Gallery & Downtown Art Gallery at Bucknell University for inviting me to create this show.

Tags: Installation, Interactive, Performance, Photography, Prints, YR 2011-2015

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