Mark

A Beginner's Guide to the Art of Throwing the Perfect Chocolate Fountain Party


2016
Installation, three-day performance, single-channel video
Dimensions variable
Film duration: 11 minutes 34 seconds
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco

Excerpt (1 minute 25 seconds)


For three days, the gallery functioned as a film set, where a large audience watched Wang Huimeng and her crew filming a short film as a continuous live performance.

The film, a satirical presentation of table etiquette based on a 1945 American television commercial, centers around a chocolate fountain dinner party, where a narrator raises questions on the potential faux-pas of the dinner guests. As the party goes on, a sense of absurdity accumulates.

In reference to Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) where, during a dream sequence, it is revealed that the bourgeois dinner party participants are in fact dinning on a stage set in a theatrical performance, A Beginner's Guide to the Art of Throwing the Perfect Chocolate Fountain Party examines the concept of a performative and make-believe Western Utopia.