Fleischfreude (2009)

Fleischfreude (Self-Portrait), 2009, performance photo, dimensions variable

Evoking the obsession with the preparation and desire of food, the title directly references Carolee Schneeman’s seminal feminist performance work, Meat Joy, from 1964. The artist gazes unabashedly direct at the viewer; it seems to be a celebration of flesh and erotic ritual. Conflating sexual desire with the hunger for food, Fleischfreude is a critique of female objectification, while evoking the Japanese practice of Nyotaimori, where mostly male customers eat sushi off a very still naked woman’s body.

From the time of colonialism and foreign military occupation, Asian women have been particularly vulnerable to fetishization, sexualization, and marginalization. Insidious stereotypes have been perpetuated and disseminated across the globe, not only by Hollywood films, such as Full Metal Jacket and Heaven and Earth, but also in American fiction. This precise intersectionality can be a matter of life or death, as was in the case of the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings, when a white man killed six women of Asian descent, citing his sexual addiction as the cause for the mass murder.

Mirae kh RHEE’s Fleischfreude Self-Portrait is a work that marks a turning point in the artist’s solidarity with all Asian women, regardless their country of origin. It was a significant decolonizing moment when she realized that her own self-internalized racism, sexism, and classism was, in fact, being projected on others. Thus, Fleischfreude is not only a critique of Asian women being portrayed as submissive and hypersexualized, but also a reproach at herself for caring what others think.

Publications and/or Exhibitions

2024 PAR(I)TY WITH US, die 10 Millionen Euro Ausstellung im Rahmen des Gallery Weekend Berlin, AquabitArt Gallery, Berlin, curated by Sarah Maske, Nina Marlene Kraus, Irina Ilieva (SALOON Berlin)
2022 Featured on the cover of 22 Jan OXI Wirtschaft Ander Denken /common verlagsgenossenschaft eG, Berlin
2018 postmodernism and aesthetics: collide or steer, Korean Cultural Center, NY, AHL Foundation, curated by Kyunghee Pyun
2018 Not A Fortune Cookie, ACUD Galerie, Berlin, curated by Vickie Truong
2017 vs. Meat, Berlin Food Art Week, Hallesches Haus, Berlin, curated by Tainá Guedes, co-curated by Stephanie von Behr
2015 The Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part 3, Korean Cultural Service, curated by Soojung Hyun, Kyunghee Pyun, and HeeSung Cho
2014 Eating Cultures, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA, curated by Michelle A. Lee with co-curators Linda Inson Choy & Cynthia Tom
2014 She Views Herself, Gallery 6 Mandel, Paris, curated by Doris Kloster
2013 Haussalon, Kunsthalle M3, Atelierhaus Mengerzeile Artist Association, open studios/20th year anniversary celebration, Berlin

Notable Collections 

Artist Doris Kloster, Miami, FL, USA
Studio Kayla Tange aka Coco Ono, Los Angeles, CA, USA