Ask Me About Salt

Performance Description

Framed as an improvised walk, this performance highlights our complex relationship with salt. The piece begins with a drawing of the sodium chloride chemical structure (NaCl) on the sidewalk using common table salt. This is followed by interactions with the public initiated through taste tests of different kinds of edible salt. Through these savoury comparisons, I hope to enter into discussions about the use of salt in food and its related health issues. Depending on the direction of the exchange I may also talk about the harvesting of salt in China 8,000 years ago, the salt caravans (Azalai) practiced by Tuareg traders in the Sahara desert or its long history of use in rituals of purification, magical protection, and blessings.

Artistic Statement

Whether through performance art, experimental video or creative/critical writing, Randy Lee Cutler’s practice explores the aesthetic of food, appetite and embodiment. She is interested in historical and contemporary engagements with food as image, material and method. Through photographs, recipes, staged cooking shows, or interventions in gallery windows, her artwork takes up food as its primary frame and reference. More than simple sustenance, food is also a metaphor for desire, bringing people together by way of conviviality. The production and distribution of foodstuffs have an integral effect on existence and concerns all living creatures. By making artwork informed by food, Cutler creates opportunities for audiences to be more connected to the land that sustains us and to each other.

Artist Biography

Randy Lee Cutler has performed and shown work at numerous Vancouver venues including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Zeno Gallery/Dadabase, the Charles Scott Gallery, VIVO, the Helen Pitt Gallery, Out on Screen Film Festival as well as Video Pool (Winnipeg), Centre for Art Tapes (Halifax), Herland Film & Video Festival (Calgary), Groupe Intervention Video-GIV (Montreal), Outtakes Dallas Film Festival and the Tate Modern -Turbine Hall (London) for the Western Front. She contributes essays to catalogues and art magazines as well as maintains an experimental relationship to pedagogy, gardening and embodiment. Originally from Montreal, she lives in Vancouver where she is an associate professor at Emily Carr University.