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HNH 1999: Last Supper Dining Set

2004, wood and canvas
Table 29 x 144 x 36 inches
13 Chairs, each 18-1/4 x 16-1/4 x 16 inches

Nearing the end of the millenium, it is time once more for conjectural talk of Armageddon. There will be god-fearing men with beards walking our streets carrying placards announcing the impending end of the world and the need for immediate repentance. Psychics will make their lists of celebrity predictions for 2000 regardless, REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It" will see heavy airplay on radio, and, if that weren't enough, there is also the scurry to find a technical patch that will deter the comparatively prosaic prosaic prospect of a Y2K computer meltdown.

In accordance with these last rites, the HNH product for this year revisits the history and depiction of the Last Supper as both a social activity and art reference. What would our visual impression of it be had Leonardo not painted the iconic image we know so well?

The table top is a strip of raw canvas stretched over a sturdy, flat support of wood. Like the resined dinners of Daniel Spoerri, the Last Supper dining table becomes a site for art production. Here the bare canvas receives all the subtle and not-so-subtle drippings, stains, and markings from foods and drinks that inevitably make their mark during the course of a meal. It accumulates with each sitting, building up the surface of the "painting" it simultaneously becomes. This painting can of course be taken off its legs and hung on a wall at any time. A new canvas can subsequently be laid down. Less like Spoerri and perhaps more akin to Rachel Whiteread, the canvas becomes a document suggestive of the "intimacies" that occur in the act of dining. A red wine stain here or a droplet of marinara there may lead one to recall an eventful meal with chance but memorable company where one might have met a great love or enemy, as the madelaine similarly opened a world to Proust.

What better way to ring in the new millenium then hosting a last supper deejayed by Prince, who so prophetically urged us to party like it's 1999. The sacred and the profane, what more could we possibly hope for?

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