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Tavola: Early Bird Café: Another Installation

October 12, 2018 - November 11, 2018

A.I.R. Gallery
155 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
Wed-Sun, 11–6

Gallery III

A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce A Tavola: Early Bird Special Café: Another Installation (Public Space), a site-specific installation by artist Elke Solomon, another iteration of her ongoing series A Tavola! conceived to explore the multiplicity of everyday and often intimate transactions, which occur around the dining table, be those private, social, economic or cultural, through the use of video, sculpture and drawing.

“Early Bird” is a dinner served generally from 4:30 to 6:30, a seating before the main dinner, with a reduced price menu. The term “early bird special” was first used for a clothing sale in 1904 and later popularized in restaurants in the 1920’s. An Early bird is elderly and stereotypically lives someplace warm. This “bird” is on a fixed income, knows what she likes and prefers to get home before it’s too late. She is a woman of a certain age. Early Bird Café points to a specific population; the artist’s. She is in the generation right before “Baby boomers”, called the “mature generation”.

In her ongoing series A Tavola!, which means to the table – the call to dine in everyday Italian, Solomon completely transforms gallery spaces into dining rooms. The first two iterations of the project (2010, and 2013) focused on the events that take place around a table in intimate settings, executed through installation and performance these focused on the artist’s personal, family experiences.

A Tavola: Early Bird Special Café: Another Installation (Public Space), moves the conversation from the private domestic space to the public space of the café or diner. The gallery space is outfitted as a café; decorated with the requisite neon, tables and chairs, menus, framed pictures and paintings, chandeliers, and television. Painted aphorisms and objects in the installation use the vocabulary of food and age to comment on and frame the dilemmas and attitudes of this aging population.

The Early Bird Café serves as a public commons for the early birds. The café is a place – a community – where the early birds regularly come, meeting in a public setting for shared exchanges about subjects that touch older adults about the state of the world as seen through their experiences. So food based celebrations (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries, holidays), controversies (e.g. aging and ageism, community, politics, health and health care) and their children and grandchildren center the conversations. This installation continues Solomon’s interest in the myriad ways we create meaning through our shared social experience around food.