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Sept. 19, 2011

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Artists! Trade a half-hour of your time for an otherwise free lunch at the temporary “Time/Food” restaurant opening in the Abrons Arts Center on the Lower East Side, Sept. 24-Oct. 16, 2011. The menu changes daily according to the rotating roster of chefs, who all happen to be artists “who like to cook.” A few of them are Martha Rosler, Paul Chan, Liam Gillick, Carlos Motta, AA Bronson, Mariana Silva, Ingrid Erstad and, on Sept. 25, Rirkrit Tiravanija.

Tiravanija's kitchen accomplishments are well known, and art lovers with long memories might remember Rosler's breakout art piece from the 1970s, when she worked at a McDonald's and supposedly spiked the burgers with marijuana. She reported on her transgression via postcard mail art.

Sponsored by Creative Time, the restaurant is inspired by Mexico’s informal comida corrida-style meals, which typically consist of several courses at a fixed price. Diners receive “hour notes” as currency, which they can take back to the Time/Bank -- Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle’s larger platform for encouraging its nearly 2,000 participants to barter their time and skills, rather than exchanging money, to obtain goods and services. The website lists classified ads from users seeking anything from interior-design advice to bike repair.

Time/Food is part of the free “Living as Form” exhibition of socially aware art works and commissions taking place around the city. These include exercise classes with Shanghai-based collective Madeln Company, which is leading Physique of Consciousness, a routine of movements inspired by religious ceremonioes, at Sara D. Roosevelt Park; consultations with a “barter advisor,” for one-on-one tips on how to trade skills and objects; or many talks and walking tours on the agenda.

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