We are pleased to present Jen-N-Outlaw and Breanne Trammell in partnership with the Bureau for Open Culture at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) during the Wilco Solid Sound Festival, which will take place this weekend, June 24-26, 2011 in North Adams, Massachusetts. As part of our onsite programming in conjunction with the event, multimedia artist Breanne Trammell’s will present Let’s Fly a Kite, a participatory kite-making workshop, and Paul Outlaw and Jennifer Catron will bring their famous Jen-N-Outlaw’s Fish Fry and Crawfish Boil food truck, which will be serving up fresh seafood in an authentically Southern style. In 2010, Paul and Jen were artists-in-residence at The Wassaic Project, where they built their Fish Fry Truck. Breanne Trammell is a current artist-in-residence at the Wassaic Project and is also our 2011 Print Fellow in the silkscreen studio.
Breanne Trammell‘s project Let’s Fly a Kite, a public kite-making workshop offered in part by the Wassaic Project, stems from her love of the collaborative process and her desire as a multi-discplinary artist to facilitate shared experience. Trammell thinks of kites as celebratory objects, in tandem with many cultures in which kites also symbolize happiness, good luck, and victory, and are used as talismans to ward off evil spirits. She also believe that the interactive nature of kite-flying enables a heightened sense of one’s environment.
Above all, Trammell thinks that kites are fun and accessible, and that sending a kite into flight- of watching a manmade object defy gravity- universally inspires a sense of childlike awe. As part of MASS MoCA’s Wilco Solid Sound Festival, Trammell will offer an onsite workshop in kite-making and kite-flying. The event is free and open to all festival attendees. Each participant will receive kite-making materials and will be offered instruction in crafting the basic structure of the kite- possible designs range from ‘sled-style’ to ‘puffer-style’- as well as markers, paints, a screen-printing station, and a ‘custom tail station’ with which to decorate it. Trammell says, “I envision hundreds of kites flying together. And later, the kite becomes the object that commemorates the collaboration.” Let’s Go Fly a Kite is the second incarnation of an earlier project of the same name that Trammell produced in collaboration with students at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she was a visiting artist in 2010. Trammell received her MFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and is an adjunct professor in graphic design at Ramapo College in New Jersey. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at Mixed Greens Gallery and PPOW Gallery in New York, and her collaborative work with Brody Condon was featured in the Greater New York show at PS1/MoMA in 2010 and at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York in 2009. Trammell is currently the Print Fellow at the Wassaic Project.
Jen-N-Outlaw’s Fish Fry Truck is the brainchild of Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw, two recent MFA recipients who are currently based in New York City, but originally hail from Southern Illinois and Alabama, respectively. After finishing their degrees in sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Catron and Outlaw wanted to bring traditional Southern crawfish boil/fish fry culture – especially its relaxed social element – to the East Coast. They bought a truck with an American flag already painted on the side, added a double fryer, a 120-quart pot, and a hydrolic platform with room for a picnic table in the back, and started serving up “the best catfish east of the Mississippi and the freshest, spiciest crawfish north of the Mason-Dixon Line.” Catron and Outlaw consider their food truck to be part business, part performance art project, and part educational experience. By placing a representative part of Southern culture out of context on the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, they create a juxtaposition of disparate experiences, prompting customers to examine their own relationships to social environments and community.
Besides serving food, Jen-N-Outlaw’s Fish Fry Truck engages with its patrons by bringing the South fully to the city with socializing, country music and Southern Hospitality. “We consider the whole operation our performance,” Catron says. At the Wilco Solid Sound Festival, the truck will be offering its regular menu: fried catfish po’boys with hand-cut cole slaw, tomatoes and Remoulade sauce; crawfish boiled in spices with new potatoes, corn-on-the-cob, garlic and cayenne; fried pickles with a buttermilk dill sauce; Sweet Tea; and the truck’s most recent addition, the deep-fried Moonpie. Jen-N-Outlaw’s Fish Fry Truck – “New York City’s first fully-functioning, mobile restaurant”- will be parked in Bushwick, Brooklyn on Saturdays throughout the summer. In the fall the truck will appear in Manhattan near the Chelsea gallery district and offer a program of performances.
Paul Outlaw and Jen Catron courtesy of Allegra LaViola Gallery, NY
Bureau for Open Culture is a critical and research-based practice that takes the form of a contemporary arts institution to interrogate and re-imagine from within the way we engage with art.