Phagein attends closely to my research question while also providing positive outlooks led by relational and participatory aspects of the work. My goal with these relational aesthetics gatherings is to destigmatise ageing bodies by inscribing them in bountiful “livingness” by proposing an installation where “living things” are central (organic matter as well as participating guests).
By immersing visitors in a situation that potentially created malaise, my intent is to have participants question their own plural contradictions and bring cultural axioms related to old age to light. Furthermore, by giving them a chance to utter pain, anguish, and despair "en presence de" , and eat from the gisant (where mushrooms were grown and harvested from), I re-inscribe the dying into the commonplace. Phagein, as an event accompanying The Saprotrophic Body, thus promotes a “conjuncture of survival […] a state of renewal that combines with the present” (Déry 2006) by putting lingering, blooming, corporeal, and embodied things in relationship to the living.