Robert Ladislas Derr
Table Setting, 2009
Table Setting captures a video still life at The Modern, the trendy chic restaurant in the renovated Museum of Modern Art, NYC. A restaurant in which to be seen and consume artistically presented food in the presence of renowned works. Unlike the opulence of a 17th century Dutch still life, Table Setting illustrates a modern day table of simplicity and sparseness.
Filming from overhead, focusing on a quarter of the table, I capture a man and woman dining with their party. The social activity of gathering for a public meal is as highlighted in this video, as the functional aspect of eating. The woman steadfastly consumes her soup, while the man is more engaged with the conversation at the table than his salad. It is the mans lack of consumption that becomes the focal point in the video.
The MoMA, a setting for the display of modern art, conversely becomes the stage for art making. A meal is depicted as subject for its spectacle, in the spectacle. Art and life have converged.