Every now and then, The Creators Project comes across an artwork that surprises and delights us every bit as much as it confuses us and otherwise has us begging for answers. This is art that defies conventions, challenges sensibilities, and breaks down barriers between comprehension and critique. You might like it—you might not "get it." But we do. Take a deep breath, and before you read this, remember: it's art.
Art fairs are exhausting, but one gallery at Frieze has figured out a better solution to keeping glucose levels up than guzzling glasses of champagne. Berlin-based gallery Societé and artist Sean Raspet have filled their booth with refrigerated bottles of Soylent 2.0, and bags of a prototypical algae-based, paste-like version of the meal replacement drink.
Visitors to the booth can try the Soylent for themselves, while supplies last. At Frieze’s VIP preview last night, the gallery posted a horde of photos to their Instagram of art world elites trying the beverage. Reactions seem to have ranged from enthusiastic, to perplexed, to, in true VIP style, more or less ignoring the art and milking the personal promo instead.
Raspet, according to ArtNews, is actually a flavorist for Soylent. In 2015, he teamed up with Soylent and Pantone to create a special edition flavor of the beverage, which was exhibited at the Swiss Institute’s PAVILLON DE L’ESPRIT NOUVEAU: A 21st Century Show Home.
His exhibition history with Societé includes Deformulation, a series of works that vaporized substances like cosmetics and cleaning products, separating them into their most basic molecular elements, and then recollected the air with a carbon filter to return them to their original state (the whole thing was smelly); in another room, he displayed a version of Coca-Cola, created from scratch with a reversed chemical formula.
CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Sean Raspet helped create the Technical Milk and Technical Food versions of Soylent. The article has been amended to clarify that Raspet teamed up with Soylent and Pantone to create a special edition flavor of Technical Milk and Technical Food.