There’s a neat symmetry going on in Bompas and Parr’s new piece in collaboration with photographer Rebecca Andrews as both fast food and extreme body building tend to excite fairly polarised opinions. You could say they’re both ultimate extrapolations of modern society’s obsessions albeit in different ways – body consciousness and unreal expectations of beauty in one direction, convenience and speed and greed in the other.
The Four Horseman of the Oesophagus – a triptych in four panels (!) – is a reflection on our relationship with food for the Avant/Garde Diareis Mercedes Drive-thru launching next week.
They say: “Body builders earn their figure through thousands of hours sculpting flesh with exercise and carefully moderated diets. There’s savage dedication and control when it comes to food. Before our shoot one of the models hadn’t drunk any water for two days (on the hottest day of the year in the UK) subsisting on white wine and vodka to dehydrate for maximum muscle tone. The results were certainly impressive.
“The ‘Four Horsemen’ in the images are not the body builders but the food itself – burgers, fried chicken, hot dogs and sodas. The resulting combination of sugar, fat and salt makes the food deeply compelling, high in hedonic value and geared to stimulate your neurons. The same receptors are targeted by powerful amphetamines.”
It’s the latest of the foodie duo’s high-impact pieces which have ranged from extraordinary jelly-mongering to creating a walk-in gin and tonic in Soho, from creating a lime-green boating lake and waterfall on Selfridges’ roof to hosting disorienting and immersive dining experiences.
The pair are restlessly imaginative, marvellously ambitious and perfectly-attuned to how combinations of setting, performance and menu can come together to create unforgettable experiences.
At our one-day creative symposium Here, expect a maverick show-and-tell exploring how risk-taking has always been at the heart of what they do. It’s going to be unpredictable, insightful and huge fun.
Here takes place on September 21 but tickets are now sold out. You can add your name to the waiting list on the link below should any more tickets become available.