Temporary Accumulations: Last Suppers (An Investigative Dining Experience)

by Scott Valentine (MDes ADPD ’16)

Using the intimate setting of a dinner party as a point of departure, Last Supper’s is an on-going investigation discussing capital punishment’s shortcomings in contemporary society.  An open reservation system was distributed throughout the institution and invited to RSVP for six spots in each meal. Each dinner was multi-coursed and assembled by using actual requests of persons’ who were on death row. By consuming these requests, one can question the lack of true agency as well as the overt psychological cruelty receiving such a meal has on a person. Their deployment is not for the receiver as a last wish or rite, but for us, society; leading one to ponder whose consciousness does a last supper redeem? By consuming these meals, one examines the systemic problems intersecting: criminal justice in the US, policing of minorities, food systems, societal ethics and the value of choice as it relates to Contemporary Democratic societies. Only after the two-hour meal has ended, are the crimes of those whose requests were served are unveiled. This work is interested in better addressing salient sites of activity where one can address social injustice in a culture of punishment that is not always humane.