Kenyon College

I Eat You Eat Me


Mella Jaarsma

Dutch, b. 1960

I Eat You Eat Me, 2001/2012

Participatory artwork and installation including wearable leather and metal sculpture (six-person version) and two-channel video (color, sound, 5:45 and 10:05 minutes).

Courtesy the artist .

The object above is a wearable sculpture designed by Mella Jaarsma, for use in a series of performances the artist began organizing in 2001. When “I Eat You Eat Me” is performed, Jaarsma invites participants to partner up—each selecting food for the other, donning the sculpture, and then feeding one another. When worn, the sculpture temporarily binds the participants, creating an intimate, mutually supported table surface for a shared meal. Jaarsma describes the gesture as “going into the skin of the other.”

Jaarsma designed the original version for two people. For Feast, she created a new iteration for six participants, which complicates the dynamics of the meal. In January 2012, Jaarsma used one copy of the sculpture for a performance at a restaurant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and a group of University of Chicago students used the copy above. These videos present documentation of the original project and these recent performances.