03 February 2010

Spotlight on Fallen Fruit

I first heard about the artist collective Fallen Fruit last summer when they had an installation at L.A.C.E. Gallery in Los Angeles. The idea behind the show - using film and still photography to explore the social, political and pop history of the banana - both intrigued and amused me. With the catchy and provocative title "Are You Happy to See Me?" the project managed to be playful and engaging while examining a dark history. I always appreciate unique and innovative ways to make relevant subjects palatable - even savory! - for the masses, and United Fruit, the collective's first solo show, epitomized this for me.

In addition to its more traditional artistic endeavors, Fallen Fruit is an activist art project which promotes the utilization of "public fruit", fruit that grows on public property. The project began as a mapping of all the public fruit in the artists' neighborhood, and developed into a series of inspired projects all relating to fruit, and often with interactive features to engage the local community members. Check for a Fallen Fruit Public Fruit Map in your area. (For more about public fruit, look for upcoming post about Forage Restaurant).

Current projects include:
LACMA and Fallen Fruit have recently come together for EATLACMA, and I can't wait to see the results! The LACMA website describes the collaboration between the collective and the museum thus:

EATLACMA is a year-long investigation into food, art, culture and politics. EATLACMA's projects consider food as a common ground that explores the social role of art and ritual in community and human relationships. EATLACMA unfolds seasonally, with artist's gardens planted and harvested on the museum campus, hands-on public events, and a concurrent exhibition, Fallen Fruit Presents The Fruit of LACMA (June 27-November 7, 2010). EATLACMA is curated by Fallen Fruit—David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young-and LACMA curator Michele Urton.

The high profile of LACMA is certainly a tremendous boon for Fallen Fruit, whose collaboration has recently been featured on the local NBC website.

This weekend, EATLACMA kicks off its first two events in the yearlong series:
For updates on where you can find public fruit in and around Los Angeles, follow Fallen Fruit on Twitter. Last week they publicized a fallen grapefruit branch, heavily laden with luscious citrus!

UPDATE: Great article about Fallen Fruit's project with LACMA here.


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