Performative and participatory tastellations

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How to eat with your hands video still, 2016.

Instructions to install Cape Town Biryani, 2016 at the Third Space Symposium:

Choose a space close to a wash basin and sink so people may wash their hands before eating. It would be great if the installation could be in the same area where other food is being served. The space should have tables and chairs/couches/benches for the audience to be able to sit and eat.

Unfortunately I will not be there to cook the food as I usually do. I would like to support a local caterer by ordering: 1 big pot of vegetarian biryani; 1medium pot of dhal; grated carrot salad, cucumber and inkomazi salad and chopped tomato sambles. Enough to feed an average portion to however many people you are expecting.

– Order food to pick up or be delivered on the day

– Print recipes out on A4 paper- enough for most people who will eat to take one each.

– Place a table in the room against a wall.

– Place a television screen or projection on the wall next to the table (at eye level). This should be playing the How to eat with your hands video and should be visible from the seated area where people will eat.

– Lay out and connect a two plated electric hot plate on the table. If you have a non-electrical option- this could work.

– Place the biryani and dhal pots on the hot plates with appropriately sized serving spoons next to them. Low heat just to keep the food warm.

– Lay the rest of the table with salad bowls and serving spoons, salt and pepper shaker, serviettes, plates and printed recipe copies.

– Make an announcement to the audience before time to eat (lunch or supper), that there is food available and that the artist proposes you try eating the meal with your hands. I will send a short paragraph of what to announce.


Sierre Beans Bunny (Chow), 2015

Chrisantha Chetty

Originates from the Durban indian community in South Africa. It is a way of serving food without any serving dish and is meant to be eaten without cutlery. There are many stories as to how it originated. Some believe that it was introduced by indian settlers as a means to serve the excluded during apartheid. Others believe that it was a way for workers to carry lunch as a takeaway when working on the sugar cane farms.


(feeds 4 quarter bunnies or 2 half bunnies)

How to make a bunny chow:

Cut a loaf of bread into halves or quarters.

Dig out the middle of the bread still leaving the bottom attached.

Fill the bread with curry and salad- or anything else you want.

Best enjoyed with your hands.


1 loaf of bread

Hot curry (see below for basic beans curry)


Simple salads

– grated carrot, onions, chilli, lemon juice and fresh dhania.

– chopped tomato, onion, chilli.

– sliced cucumber with yoghurt, salt and pepper.

Sierre Beans curry:


1 onion

3 cloves garlic (or as you like)

2 chillies (or as you like)

1 tomato

3 potatoes

1.5 cups of cooked beans- green, sugar, butter- what ever bean you prefer.

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbp tumeric

1 tbs red masala


Heat oil and add cinnamon and mustard seeds.

Once mustard seeds start popping add the chopped onion, chillies, and garlic. Cook until onions are golden brown.

Add spices and let cook for a minute. Then add chopped tomato. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Add water and potatoes. When the potatoes are nearly done add the beans and cook until done.

An alternative to the traditional bunny chow is a kota- found in other parts of South Africa including Johannesburg and Cape Town. This alternative comprises of sausages, salad, cheese, chips and sauce.

Note all ingredients are easily found in Sierre. This recipe was inspired by Sierre and is unique to the place.


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