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Jennifer Rubell once served guests 2,000 pounds of barbecued ribs, photo by Patrick McMullan
Jennifer Rubell once served guests 2,000 pounds of barbecued ribs, photo by Patrick McMullan

TAMALES AND PECANS BY JENNIFER RUBELL

Aug. 25, 2011

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Food artist Jennifer Rubell -- a member of the celebrated Rubell family, which includes her parents, supercollectors Don and Mera Rubell, and her brother, Jason Rubell, who also collects, and of course the Rubell Family Collection museum in Miami -- has made quite a name for herself with expansive food events, usually taking place as part of gala fundraisers for avant-garde nonprofits.

But unlike fellow food artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, who serves curry to his audience, Rubell's food tends to be better to look at than actually taste. Is this really true? Find out at the annual fundraiser for the Dallas Contemporary museum, "Legendary," Sept. 22, 2011, which features a Rubell performance installation called Made in Texas. Plans call for seven stages, each animated with live scenes illustrating the Texas food industry. Hand-wrapped tamales are one highlight, and they look scrumptious. But are they?

Tickets start at $100 for members, $5,000 for “Pico de Gallo, Queso Oaxaca or Tortilla Chip Patrons” and on up to $25,000 for platinum sponsorship.

The party precedes “Jennifer Rubell: Nutcrackers,” Sept. 25-Dec. 4, 2011, a major exhibition of Rubell’s work in Dallas Contemporary's main gallery. The show apparently features 18 female mannequins that double as nutcrackers, positioned alongside one-ton containers of pecans. Visitors to the show are encouraged to crack the nuts between the moveable mannequin thighs. Rubell is said to have gotten the idea for the sexualized yet ball-breaking figures from an image she found of Hillary Clinton online.


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