Tantalus Dinner by Ioli Sifakaki
(more images)



Designer Ioli Kalliopi Sifakaki has sent us some more images of the performance for her Tantalus Dinner project, when she invited a dozen of her male friends to feast from tableware cast from her own body parts.


Sifakaki presented the project earlier this month at the Royal College of Art graduate show in London. See our previous story here.


At the beginning of the meal all the vessels were upturned, filled with food and randomly placed around the table.


The diners present had to finish all the food to be able to place the dishes in the correct place, face-up, reconstructing the body.


Sifakaki applied ice cubes to her stomach prior to casting in order to capture the texture of her goose bumps.


The diners were forbidden from using cutlery.


Photographs are by Matthew Booth.


Here's some info from Sifakaki:


A general view of the table shows the torso shape of the table and that each of the twelve stools has a different shape to follow the outline of the table.


In the beginning of the dinner the vessels were full and placed in random order on the table. My guests had to eat everything on the plates in order to turn them upside down and place each one in the right place to compete/reconstruct the body.


Detail of the belly shows the human texture, the "goose pimples". I managed to capture that texture by leaving ice cubes to melt while I was casting my self. It was something difficult to achieve cause we can't control it and I had to do a lot of trials. But the result is not only visible but also you can feel it when you hold the piece.


That tactile experience was one of the main reasons why my guests didn't use any cutlery.

Posted on Sunday July 19th 2009 at 12:10 am by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Emily

    So I didn’t think I would like this, but the more I look and read about it the more I am convinced that this was a beautiful idea and exquisitely carried out. I think the best part is that she paid so much attention to the textures.

  • I like it, yet I shudder…

  • Kind of a post-modern Last Supper. “Take this and eat of it. For this is my body … “

  • sounds fun!

    I like all the white shirts thing

  • Art colleges.
    Body casts.
    Naked performance art.
    Why I stopped making art.

  • Jessica Barber

    Really interesting idea but I must admit that the shape of the table disappoints as it seems totally random and arbitrary. Also would have liked to see the arrangement of the pieces on the table actually look more like a body when laid out on the table.

    But the textures do seem exquisite.

  • I usually abide by the “if you don’t have anything nice to say” rule, but I want to comment on this despite the fact that I don’t think it works. This is poorly conceived and feels a bit 2nd year art school. I’d have been torn apart for this (but only figuratively) where I studied. There may be a concept here I suppose (what is it?) but it isn’t being taken anywhere except, quite accidentally, toward something I think cultural studies refers to as the “monstrous feminine.” We’ve already had 2000 years or more of that – can this be taken somewhere new? I don’t think it’s being moved very far from its origin here, all the genteel smiling on the battlefield notwithstanding. The women serving the bloodthirsty men… who’s the joke on here? And I actually like a little political incorrectness! But this seems gratuitous. It pretends to meaning but is actually just a traditional nude in white and red.

  • I really like the idea. very cool!

  • laura skeeters

    Dinner for fetishists?

    I like that even in a extreme concept she decided to go full throttle and served food that somewhat resembles bloody body parts…funny gruesome and grotesque.

    Wonder if she has a subconscious fixation with Cronenberg and Greenaway.

    I do she both their works in hers. Or it is just creepy.

    I wouldn’t dare eat out of the “lower back” bowl, though.


    I wonder about the mönü. Which dish was presented in what body part? Especially I wonder what was in the hip-shape casted piece?
    Anyways, I like the idea it is quite arousing.