Jonathan Durham

© 2011

MRE Tomorrow
Abrons Arts Center
December 16, 2011 7pm

Jonathan Durham
Katrina Albright (audio)

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MRE Tomorrow is a series of sculptural actions that involve excavating canned foods from cast concrete and helicopter parts. The canned goods (two cans of Russian sardines) are heated on replicas of the small stoves provided to soldiers in Russian MREs (meals ready to eat). Durham wears an ill fitting Annie dress - a symbol of recession era optimism, while performing the grunt work. The performance also features an audio score based loosely on the lyrics of the song "Tomorrow" as sung by Annie in the 1977 Broadway musical. Durham originally intended to mail the sardines to a schoolteacher in Gambell, Alaska - an island village 19 miles from the international dateline, where, looking across the Bering Strait towards Russia, it is said one can actually "see tomorrow." However, the cans exploded during the performance and the process of mailing them was put on hold. The performance occurs in and around Durham's sculpture Crash and Ration, an upended helicopter cockpit culled together from salvaged aircraft wreckage and outfitted with canned foods and aluminum MRE stoves.

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