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Smashing Lunch

Bobby Baker performance

27 to 29 September 2002

36 hours

Royal Festival Hall, London

This durational performance unfolded across three days beginning with a 1950s-style dining table set, dressed and laid with a traditional Sunday Lunch of roast lamb. Sitting at the table in silence, arms folded, for a full 15 minutes, Bobby Baker suddenly and violently tipped the whole ensemble of furniture, crockery and food over the barrier of the Royal Festival Hall’s ballroom to the lower ground floor below. Moving downstairs, Baker sat against the wall surveying the wreckage until, she recalls, her audience ‘had got the hint and wandered away’. With the area cordoned off, the next day and a half was taken up with the painstaking reassembly and repair of the original installation before re-enacting the suburban task of serving food to an imaginary family for Sunday lunch at 1pm.

Smashing Lunch was commissioned for ‘Nightwalking’ – an artist led series of events for ResCen (the Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts) that centred around issues of process and the re-presentation of those processes.

Documentation, Deborah May

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