Raskin, Nicht nur Wasser, 1995, Videostill, © Charli Pape and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024 for Andreas Coerper
© Charli Pape and VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2024 for Andreas Coerperi

Circulating Copies: Lunch with Raskin

Raskin, Nicht nur Wasser, 1995, video, 25:46 min.

There won’t be any conviviality at this meal. Five men and women sit at a round table with expressionless faces and synchronously reach for their cutlery. Hovering in front and above them are virtual fruits whose shapes change constantly.
The metamorphoses don’t seem to follow any logic: sometimes one fruit transforms into another, at others a cell-like life form pulsates beneath the surface, briefly appearing then disappearing again. As the plates are handed out, biscuits end up in some kind of scanner that reads the ingredients and outputs the result as ‘not just water / H2O’. Peppers, pineapple, artichokes, and watermelon circle the table and appear to be scientifically analysed. But it is not only the food that changes and takes on imaginative forms, the sitters also transform as they eat, and their chewing faces becoming increasingly distorted.
The work operates through irony and exaggeration, and can be read as a critique of genetically modified foods. Its skilful use of early digital image processing technology is especially captivating, while its colour scheme and the aesthetic staging of the food evokes images from David Cronenberg’s cult film Naked Lunch.

Raskin was a performance collective in which Andreas Coerper (b. 1955, DE) and Rotraut Pape (b. 1956, d. 2019, DE) collaborated from 1987 to 1992. Raskin developed out of the artistic work of the performance group M. Raskin Stichting Ens., which was
founded in the early 1980s and mainly performed live.

Thanks to Stefanos Mpoutmparas

Lunch mit Raskin is part of the Circulating Copies program. 

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