Would you like some Sushi Merguez? Micro-Event № 50

History of Design and Curatorial Studies students in the Bodies in Space class, taught by Dr. Emmanuel Cohen who specializes in performance studies, recently participated in a workshop conducted by Tsuneko Taniuchi. Tsuneko Taniuchi is an internationally renowned performance artist who was born in Hyogo, Japan and has been living and performing in Paris since 1987. Her performances include what she calls “Micro-Events” in which she tries to incorporate the viewer, public, and herself to create an open dialogue on topics pertaining to culture and society.

Sushi merguez! A cultural mash-up (and quite tasty).

The workshop held during class time became crucial to understanding concepts within performance art studies as well as to practice for a public performance held at Parsons Paris on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018. Tsuneko Taniuchi created the unique idea of combining sushi with merguez sausage from her Japanese background and experience of eating Maghreb cuisine in Paris. Tsuneko’s work often challenges social norms and creates a conversation about how performance, but more specifically the performance of making and eating food plays a role within society.

Students practice making the rice for sushi. The performance was as much about the process of preparing the food as it was about the finished dishes.

The class had a hands-on experience on how the artist made Sushi Merguez and participated in making some themselves. Just like the sushi-merguez combination, students were asked to assemble in groups of three to create their own version of a culturally mixed dish. Although Parsons Paris is an American-based school, students of various nationalities comprise the student population. Therefore, some interesting dishes were made such as the Turkxican Roll which combined Mexican, Turkish, and Vietnamese food into one dish.

The “Turxican Roll” combines ingredients from Turkish and Mexican cuisine wrapped up like a Vietnamese spring roll.

The day of the event, the students made Sushi Merguez along with five other multicultural combination dishes. Faculty, staff, and other students came to participate and sample the dishes that were prepared in front of the audience. Tsuneko oversaw the performance and stayed after to have a talk with Fabienne Dumont, a professor from the ÉESAB (École Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Bretagne) who specializes in Art History and Art Criticism.

Tsuneko Taniuchi samples the student’s sushi merguez during their performance.

Students, staff, and outside visitors had the ability to converse with Tsuneko about her work and vision in which she had the pleasure responding. Parsons Paris, the Bodies in Space Class, and Dr. Emmanuel Cohen were honored to have had Tsuneko Taniuchi at Parsons Paris and will continue to follow her performative work in the future.

By Pamela Arellano Zameza