I Eat You Eat Me

Mella Jaarsma

To Cite this Contribution

Jaarsma, M. (2016). I Eat You Eat Me. p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e, 3.


‘I Eat You Eat Me’ is an interactive performance that takes place in restaurants, food courts, and in the vicinity of food stalls. With the aim of getting into the skin of someone else, I invited people to join an intimate dinner. The participants sit close to one another; each with a leather bib around their necks, which, in turn, is joined to the table that hovers between them. Instead of ordering for themselves, the participants are asked to choose food for the person in front of them and subsequently to feed each other.

Artist’s Statement

I like to work with clothing and I see my works as bodily modifications of the social space in between layers of skin, clothing, sartorial inhibition and housing/architecture.

We are like impermanent buildings with a façade of which the inside is changeable. The second skin that we wear is like a house in which we can appear and hide; we have to be ready to leave or inhabit it.

Everyone who confronts my work relates to it from their particular background, culture and personality, and therefore experiences the work in different ways. I want my work to relate to these specific audiences, to address some of their taboos and interpretations.

I like to confront the public with my workwhile it is being worn by life models, questioning the positioning of the self and the other. My works are a comment on the human fascination of “showing” and “showing off”. How did weview others in the past -for example the world exhibitions that took place in Europe in the 1900s where people from other cultures became exotic amusements- and how do we look at others in the present?

Biography of Mella Jaarsma