Showcasing the talent of Fehily Contemporary's artists
The Last Suppermarket is a large-scale, interactive installation Ken + Julia Yonetani have specially conceived for the Melbourne Art Fair.
The installation is a fully functional supermarket where every item is sculpted out of deathly white salt. Visitors are given a shopping basket and invited to browse shelves filled with salt bread, meat, fish, fruit, vegetables and wine, along with bowls, plates, and glasses – all priced per kilo, by the bunch or per item. At the cash register, items are weighed, costs are calculated and the goods are then wrapped. Over the course of the fair, the shelves gradually empty.
The use of the material salt has direct connections to the increasing salinity of Victoria's farmland. It also has a wider metaphorical reference to environmental damage, the death of ecosystems, increasing salinity levels and environmental toxins – and the impact this has on food production and safety.
The Last Suppermarket positions itself as the opposite of the traditionally minimalist art fair stand. The deathly white products are both beautiful and disconcerting, their salty texture at once earthly and ethereal, while the entire stall, designed in pure white, evokes a sense of nostalgia as a well as a sense of futuristic unease.