Fleischfreude (2009)

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

The self portrait Fleischfreude takes RHEE’s obsession with the preparation and desire of food as a departure point. Many of her art materials use food products themselves, both familiar and exotic to German eyes: cold cuts, dried fish, salami, garlic stems, Chocolate Kisses (Schokoküsse)- which are then performed and composed in unsettling and corporeal ways. The title of this work is a direct reference to Carolee Schneeman’s seminal feminist performance work, Meat Joy, from 1964. In the self portrait photograph, the artist gazes un- abashedly directly at the viewer. This work conflates sexual desire with hunger for food, while evoking a critique of female objectification and the Other, explicitly evoking a Japanese practice of Nyotaimori, where mostly male customers eat sushi off a very still naked woman’s body. In many ways, Asian female bodies are regarded worldwide as exotic commodities, blurring separate ethnicities to produce an overall insidious stereotype of the passive, obedient and highly sexualized lotus flower. However, an aggressive celebration of flesh and erotic ritual is also present.

vs. Meat, Berlin Food Art Week, 2017, Hallesches Haus, Berlin, curated by Tainá Guedes, co-curated by Stephanie von Behr
The Archive of Korean Artists in America, Part 3, 2015, Korean Cultural Service, New York, curated by Kyunghee Pyun and HeeSung Cho. Head researcher: Soojung Hyun
She Views Herself, 2014, Gallery 6 Mandel, Paris, curated by Doris Kloster
Haussalon, 2013, Kunsthalle m3, Berlin