A Dining Room by Umberto Buttigieg and Maxine Attard
Never eat a snack alone. Before you eat or drink anything consider carefully who you eat or drink with rather than what you eat or drink. The feeding without a friend is the life of a lion or a wolf.
– Alain De Botton (‘Epicurus on Happiness – Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness)
A Dining Room takes the sense of alienation and lack of communication of contemporary society as facts and problems which form the core of the project. It starts with the hope to reinstate the lost social ritual of dining and uses food as a facilitator of connections.
Umberto Buttigieg (b.1989) examines the nature of human behaviour in response to the social perceptions and prejudices, cultural norms and beliefs in a close-knit, moralistic, Mediterranean society. Buttigieg portrays people as actors playing within the structures and framework of daily, mundane rituals that modulate and regulate their day. This rhythmic repetition of daily rituals is seen both as a means of comfort and stability but also as alienation and isolation.
The work of Maxine Attard (b.1986) is a result of a constant preoccupation about the insignificance of human existence in the face of the sublime. It tackles the ‘void’, the ‘nothing’ and the constant search for meaning through repetition of mark-making, the order of geometry, blacks and whites resulting in minimal compositions with minimal reference to materiality other than the material with which her artwork is made.