A collaboration between Christchurch based, (and real life partners) artist Fiona Gunn and composer Chris Cree Brown, The Dinner provides an intriguing link between their individual practices. Gunn's beautifully austere and deceptively simple works have always drawn on their surrounding space and architecture to create evocative and meditative environments, while Brown works across the realms of composition to be performed, and soundscapes which envelop and contain the listener.
The Dinner transforms the stark white gallery into the setting for an elaborate dining situation. Described by the artists as "an attempt to celebrate the ordinary", The Dinner presents a beautifully dressed antique table and chairs, ready and waiting for the meal to be served, and (in a wry reference to the realities of actual dining situations) complete with high-chair and child's toy. However, the usually vibrant atmosphere of a dinner party is diffused; firstly by wrapping the table, chairs and settings in more than 10 kilometers of cotton, and by the addition of reverberation to the accompanying sounds of the guests. Although human presence is alluded to, they appear as ghostings or traces, allowing us to bring our own memories and experiences to the scenario.
The artists would like to thank Wilburn Antiques for their support of this project.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Dinner - Fiona Gunn and Chris Cree Brown
The Physics Room Annual, 2001
In praise of the dinner
The Press, 2001 Dec. 12, p. 36
The Dinner, an art collaboration by composer Chris Cree Brown and sculptor Fiona Gunn.
Making a Meal of it
The Listener, Jan 14, p.53