$100 a Head Rat Dinner: Survival as Performance Art (NSFW)
The meal, prepared by a professional chef, began with a "rat and pork pate" appetizer, followed with braised and grilled rat and finished with a sorbet.
The dinner took place in New York City as part of the Allegra LaViola Gallery's exhibit Laura Ginn: Tomorrow We Will Feast Again On What We Catch. The exhibits webpage has now been updated to include photos from the event, including the food.
Ginn raised the funds for this portion of her exhibit by seeking funding on Kickstarter. Here is her video pitch and explanation for her greater body of work:
Ginn seems to specialize in presenting survival skills, both the products and process, as art. This exhibit focuses on urban survival and reframing one of NYC's only "sustainable wildlife populations" as an acceptable food source in a "dystopian" post-apocalypse. The exhibit description also indicates that Ginn hosted the meal in, "A garment of rat pelts she has made by skinning and tanning the rats herself." So we suppose that means she gets extra points for dedication and living the waste not, want not dream.
According to her Kickstarter, Ginn managed to raise just over the $2000 minimum she requested to do her show. Her unclaimed upper-tier backer awards included privates dinners and deer skin rugs, unfortunately it doesn't seem like anyone took her up on those offers.
Snarking aside, her work on survival as an art is intriguing. She's done an entire photography series on skinning that may seem horrifying until you consider that this is where the things we enjoy in life, like a nice steak or some good shoes, come from. In her video she talks about the discontent modern life affords us, placing a small army of intermediaries between ourselves in our environment.
Still, broiled rat might not be for everyone.