“Black Buffet” was an exploration of family history through excessive consumption.
For the performance I made a dessert buffet consisting of three cakes, chocolate mousse, and thirty cupcakes. Everything was colored black with activated charcoal, which was mixed with the ingredients prior to baking and sprinkled on top of all the sweets. This combined the cleansing properties of the coal with the less healthy sugar and additives in the bake mix, making it a black buffet inside and out. I also created a fountain of sweet black wine to help force down all the desserts.
I started the performance by first taking a small and respectful piece of cake. I told the audience my family history, including stories of substance abuse and my own troubled relationship to food. As the performance progressed the pile of sweets on my plate grew, eventually spilling over. By the end my face was covered with a mix of black cake, mousse, and wine. I was both emotionally exhausted and physically sick, having almost thrown up multiple times. I ended by asking the audience to share their stories. The performance was improvised simultaneously in Polish and English, informing the pace of the monologue. The action lasted about forty-five minutes.