Don't we visit museums to look at art, not 'heaven forbid' to smell it, salivate at it, and eat it? Don't we arrange our sculptures on pedestals, and contemplate aesthetic at arm's length? German artist Sonja Alhuser thumbs her nose at such convention. She makes sculptures from sweets, and gleefully invites us to devour them. Soon, chocolate crumbs litter the gallery floor and her sculptures are reduced to rubble. There's an alluring naughtiness to this endorsed destruction-by-consumption of art in such an elegant setting. But as we nibble, aren't we contradicting the museum's mission to preserve and honor art? Haven't we dismantled the museum-goer's role as observer? Alhuser's gradually disappearing sculptures prompt us to question traditional beliefs and expectations about art's immortality and its function in museums. By instructing us to eat (and alter) her work, Alhuser relinquishes aesthetic control, and denies the dictum that great art is perfect as is. Instead, she lures us with chocolate's evocative and nostalgic aromas, and asks us to participate in her work and its destruction. We are no longer mere observers, but have been invited inside.
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