Food for sport: is it an egg on your face or the world cracking open?
Stevenson gallery’s latest group exhibition draws attention to the conflicts underlying patterns of migration
I’ll never forget the first and only time I got involved in a food fight. It was at a function after a primary school sports match — a few kids throwing boerewors rolls at each other. This lasted for about 20 seconds, because my mother was there and rapidly intervened. I received, as the saying goes, a royal bollocking.
I don’t associate any feeling of fear or humiliation with this public chastisement. Instead I recall only gratitude for a lesson learnt: you don’t waste food, because millions of kids go hungry every night. Subsequently, scenes in movies and TV series set in US high school canteens in which preening teenagers yelled “food fight!” and upended their lunch trays always turned my stomach.
That visceral response returned when I walked into the Stevenson gallery in Johannesburg and watched, on a large screen, a grainy recording of an actual food fight featuring actual snotty adolescents. The footage is part of a reel collected and stitched together by Monilola Olayemi Ilupeju for her video work Stampede of Champions, which features prominently in the exhibition My Whole Body Changed Into Something Else...