The Pageant of the Amuse Bouche
P3 Studio at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
My 2012 project for the P3 Studio continued my examination of representations of women and food as cultural signifiers and featured three mixed-media figurative sculptures built on- site while inviting visitors to participate in their construction (both conceptually and physically) over the course of five weeks. These columnar cakes layered references to caryatids from ancient Greek architecture and festival pageantry with contemporary female archetypes found on the Las Vegas Strip: the Bride, the Bachelorette, the Showgirl, the Dancer, the Celebrity, etc. Some of these archetypes are entertainers, integral to the Las Vegas tourist experience, while others participate as visitors for whom the Las Vegas Strip represents the temporary realization of fantasies.
Visitors were invited to participate by selecting from a variety of small sculptural elements connoting various symbolic meanings and displayed on pedestal platters (cake decorations or ceremonial offerings). Guests placed the objects of choice onto a caryatid, suggesting collective, social constructions and shared experiences. All were invited to reflect on the project’s themes of love, sex, parties, relationships and more, by writing a word or a few sentences in the Pageant guest books. Some of the writing was later appropriated and “remixed” into chance poetry works performed at the June 7 performance.