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Peace Meal Supper Club #18: Aperture

Peace Meal Supper Club #18: Aperture is about the conflict of esthetic and urgency. Propelling an issue into the public conscience in order to provoke action seems to be as simple as taking a picture. But what happens when the photograph itself becomes the obsession?

In Peace Meal Supper Club #18: Aperture, we’ll explore the challenges of translating devastation into art. We’ll discuss the work of government photographers who, in the 1930s, created timeless images of the rural poor. We’ll revisit those images in the powerful music of Dream the Electric Sleep, whose new album, Beneath the Dark Wide Sky, reminds us that purposeful art must push against our esthetics in order to provoke our urgency.

We’ll be dining in the warm and gracious home of L.A. Watson and Matt Page, in Frankfort, KY, on the evening of October 22, 2016, at 6pm. Please make your reservation at the bottom of this page.

Our menu, inspired by the album:

Course 1: Paper ghosts in black and white…
Pomme de Terre Noire ~ Bechamel ~ Black Garlic

The displaced people captured in the photographs were held up to standards that were not only unkind but irrelevant; instead of seeing a person, viewers often saw only an aperture, an f-stop, a skillfully-produced print, or a moral conflict. The challenge remains: How does one portray the impoverished without objectifying them?

Course 2: She gave you flight and sky and everything you adore…
Wild Rice Pilaf ~ Roasted Autumn Squash ~ Heirloom Succotash ~ Herb Aioli

A panorama of the bounty that preceded the advent of industrial agriculture. From the Great Lakes to Mesoamerica, native crops thrived alongside diverse wildlife and advanced human cultures. Agricultural practices, not always sound, entwined the fates of land, water, and animals. Was the collapse of the 1930s only one verse of the human opus?

Course 3: Headlights fill the night/Heat rising from the ground/Home California bound…
Tamales ~ Mole Rojo ~ Refritos ~ Pisto

Tenant farmers in the Great Plains were pushed into migrant farm labor in California, although California already had a supply of migrant farmworkers. The conflicts among workers, both American-born and immigrant, have never been resolved. This course urges us to look beyond the surface of the current immigration turmoil to understand its roots. Earthy tamales and sanguine mole also remind us that the earth is still reeling from ancient wounds.

Course 4: How will we know it’s us without our lives/Leave it, burn it/Black wind…
Flourless Blackout Torte ~ Smoked Chocolate Ganache ~ Chocolate Espresso Syrup ~ Smoked Almonds

It is not easy to digest a life that’s gone up in smoke and dust. The Dust Bowl echoes through the fires and drought that grip present-day California, as we continue to make unreasonable demands of our natural system. Is there a way to regain balance, to restore our lives, to establish a more sustainable identity? Where do we go from here?

Reservations are required. Please use the form below.

To learn more about the Farm Security Administration’s historic photography program, please click here.

To learn more about Dream the Electric Sleep, please click here.

To learn more about Peace Meal Supper Club, please click here.

Please note: To ensure the longevity of Peace Meal Supper Club, we are suggesting donations along a sliding scale of $40 to $60 per person. If you must cancel your reservation, please do your best to find someone to take your seat(s).


This event is fully booked.