In a sense, the Santa Monica Museum of Art is answering a question that has been at the heart of recent discussions in the food world. Curators at the museum have invited Wolvesmouth chef Craig Thornton to collaborate in an installation and exhibit with artist Matthew Bone, an artist known for his at times uncomfortable use of physical nature. Using food as their medium, the two will create "exquisitely-calibrated culinary encounters" at the museum. These are dining experiences meant to bend the rules of art and food.
The exhibit, Cut Your Teeth, seeks to highlight the Wolvesmouth experience. Anyone who has experienced Wolvesmouth knows that it's a bit more than a pop-up dining club. It's communal and theatrical and getting a seat at the table is a bit like trying to get tickets to a sold out, traveling art exhibition.
Thornton and Bone have been discussing the prospect of a collaborative art installation/show/dinner for three years. This October, their theories and respective practices coalesce at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. A release describes the show-cum-dining experience thusly:
For each meal at SMMoA, guests will come together to dine in a darkly wooded den, a feast for the eyes and stomach alike. Inspired by the relationship between predator and prey, Thornton and Bone have transformed the Museum's Main Gallery into an overgrown installation of organic, vegetal, and skeletal forms. Their work explores the harvest, reproduction, and the cycle of life and death, complete with canine teeth, fertile earth and flora, and taxidermied animals. The installation, combined with Thornton's mythological culinary skills, will emphasize nature's capacity to evoke the sublime, to give life and also take it away.
Cut Your Teeth: Wolvesmouth at SMMoA will host two seatings per night at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m., October 16 through 19; and 22 through 25. Reservations are $225 per person and go on sale next Friday, August 30 at 9 a.m. Like other novel dining experiences, tickets must be purchased in advance. Throughout the artists' residency, museum visitors will be able to view installation and watch Wolvesmouth prepare the meal during regular museum hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.