“ABSOLUTE PRESSED HAM” IN NEW YORK
The summer silly season begins early this year, with Cosimo Cavallaro’s
“Absolute Pressed Ham,” a one-day art installation and performance event at the Lab Gallery on the ground floor of the Roger Smith Hotel at Lexington Avenue and 47th Street in Manhattan, June 3, 2004. Cavallaro, who we last ran into in 2002 when he covered an entire house with 10,000 pounds of cheese [see “Burning down the House,” Mar. 26, 2002], now has turned his attention to ham — 250 pounds of it, in fact, which he plans to slice and pile high on a bed in the gallery. “I have to do it, or else the idea is like a ball and chain, weighing me down,” Cavallaro said of the performance. “I’m getting rid of the bologna!” Visitors are invited to come and take a look — bring your own scrambled eggs. For more info, contact gallery director Matthew Semler at (212) 339-2092.
[Press release used with permission of Mr. Semler]
But I didn’t. I saw it first ham! And there’s more than enough to go around. First, a covert peek:
“As a vegan and a Jew,” I said to the very accommodating Matthew Semler and a wire service photographer in attendance, “I suppose I should be offended. But I’m not. This is fabulous!”
I asked Mr. Semler if anyone who came in to see the ham during its two-day run (yesterday was its installation/performance and it remained intact through today) was offended by it. He said that no one was but that a few expressed concern over the waste of food. I told him that that would be my only concern too, but he assured me that the person responsible for the event only used ham that was past its expiration date. (You may recall my distaste for food waste when I witnessed an impromptu “performance” involving ketchup and a tarp.)
Then I left and pigged out on tofu, vegetables, and a small scoop of mashed potatoes (in honor of a very special friend!):