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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meet Portland's Conceptual Art Bushmeat Food Cart

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 11:14 AM

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Pizza, wraps, burritos...deep-fried chimpanzee hands? If you happen to be by the downtown food carts today, you may have to take a second glance at the food cart called Vianede de Brossue. Which is exactly what owners/artists Roger Peet and Ryan Burns have in mind.

The duo's art installation (which has been parked in an art gallery in Pioneer Place mall for a month but will roam downtown streets this afternoon) resembles a Sub-Sahara African food cart. The meal of choice: chimp hands. Or, a combination of plastic skeleton hands, press-on fingernails, salt dough and melted black plastic bags. No, you can't actually eat them. Or buy them. This art piece is solely an attention-grabber.

Viande de Brossue, which is French for "bushmeat" (the kind of meat that is poached from wild animals), aims to educate Portlanders on the violence, poverty, and colonial exploitation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"The chimp hand parallels to humans," says Peet, whose father was a CIA pilot in the Congo in the 60s . "We're trying to tie very aspect of the Congo's history together here."

Despite the disturbing display, Peet says he has had generally positive feedback from visitors, including a somewhat baffled Sudanese local. He said he's looking forward to the reactions from cart-goers this afternoon.

After today, the bushmeat cart heads back to the mall. You can see the piece at Place Gallery until August 14th.

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