Live Dining is a participatory performance piece that changes and adapts to different contexts. With each Live Dining performance, Nicole Fournier, alone or with the participation of others, installs and occupies a kitchen and dining room in an existing — or created for Live Dining — green space. Participants get in touch with edible plants and weeds, harvest right in the space, sometimes right from their seat, conducting intimate, domestic actions that are typically performed indoors: preparing food, cooking, eating. Everyone works and eats together, creating a sense of intimacy and security in an outdoor public space.
At Artivistic 2007, Live Dining took place in the field near de Gaspé and Saint-Viateur streets. Participants discussed urban land use, weeds as food and medicine (foraging and harvesting red clover and burdock directly from the site), and alternative agricultural spaces. The work is about occupying land and integrating people with nature; giving, receiving, and sharing with others; inhabiting public spaces; and the diversity of communities of plants and people.
Fournier is a visual and interdisciplinary artist, with a twenty-year practice informed by social and biological ecology. Since 1996, she has explored the personal, social, political, organizational and systemic interconnections between nature, agriculture, body, gender, behaviour, and utility. Nicole’s Live Dining project encompasses ecovention, land art installation, and performance art traditions. At the same time, her work plays an activist role in addressing food security, biodiversity, urban agriculture, and foraging.
Photo by Alfonso Arzapalo.