Reflection on Digestion: The Stomach 2014
Part of 'On Innards | Event', 11 October 2014
Photography: Amanda Couch, Julia Keenan, Jolyon Gardner, and Mindy Lee.
Materials: Campari spritz: Campari Bitters, Prosecco and soda water, with a slice of orange, salad of Bitter herbs and honeycombe ox tripe cooked in a rich aromatic tomato sauce, and les tripes à la mode de Caen,.
Reflection on Digestion: The Stomach was performed as the lunch part of On Innards | Event. In it participants reflected on the process and idea of digestion through eating, drinking, and language.
Whilst consuming an aperitif of Campari Spritz, a bitter herb salad, and two dishes of tripe, honeycombe ox tripe in a rich tomato and aromatic vegetable sauce and les tripes à la mode de Caen, participants were guided by a text collaged from a variety of historical and contemporary sources exploring how we cognitively and bodily digest food, knowledge, and experience, and fashion our sense of self.
Participants were asked to practice mindfulness eating. In silence, they listened and reflected on their own direct experience of eating, and the ideas and sensations that ensued. For example, participants concentrated on gastric juices as they are triggered by an aperitif, and contemplate what happens in mind and body when they eat the stomach of another.
The piece embodies an experiential approach to knowledge creation by placing the participant, their senses, and body at the centre of the exploration of our ‘visceral knowledge’, as David Hillman describes, 'knowledge experienced in as well as knowledge of the interior of the body’. Participants literally and metaphorically ruminate on the processes of ingestion, digestion, subjectivity, and on embodied ways of knowing.