Houston Arts Alliance presents Justin Kouri: "The Dinner Party" opening day
Justin Kouri received the Support for Artists and Creative Individuals 2018-2019 grant sponsored by the Houston Arts Alliance. His project focuses on the immense diversity of Houston’s residents and its ongoing culinary renaissance. Kouri is filming 24+ Houstonians of starkly different ages and backgrounds eating three-course meals, uninterrupted, at a formal table settings in complete isolation.
Kouri will simultaneously cast the recordings on large monitors, arranged to insinuate people congregating around a communal table - ultimately forming a virtual “dinner party.” The recordings will cycle around the room to randomly juxtapose the participants to highlight their physical and behavioral differences, while inviting the spectator to recognize themselves among the various narratives.
This project also questions the short-term visual effects of human loneliness and isolation, and how those elements manifest throughout a fundamental human experience. This is designed to either heighten or dampen the participants’ mannerisms, while allowing the viewer to voyeuristically examining not only the filmed Houstonians’ social dining constructs, but to confront their own personal relationships with food and isolation.
After the opening day, the installation will be on display until June 30.