When I was in high school, I wanted to be a pretentious art school student but I was hampered by attending a regular high school with my good and very nerdy friends. In order to gain my pretentious art school street cred, I made all my friends participate in my daily creation of Lunch Deceased.
Lunch Deceased was half found-treasure sculpture and half performance art. I gathered up everyone’s left over lunch trash (McDonald’s packaging, cafeteria Styrofoam, and brown bag effluvium) and stacked it as high as I could. My lunch companions were allowed to add to the sculpture but I held divine right to nix the addition if it didn’t fit my ever changing vision of the day’s work. Each day the title for the work was “Lunch Deceased” and then a number. I seem to recall a very complex numbering system involving the date and the number of items divided by how many days until the weekend. I don’t remember the exact calculations but it added up to a suitably pretentious title for each work of “art”.
It was silly and made us all laugh and I recall my friends humoring my ridiculousness with much grace.
I’ve thought about Lunch Deceased quite a lot recently as Liza has taken to creating Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Deceased on a daily basis. This usually involves shredding the food she didn’t eat into crumb sized pieces. She smashes those pieces with her cup and examines the bottom of the cup. She then scrapes the bottom off and starts over. Repeat until I am so disgusted I make her get down and clean up the squishy mess.
Part of me is glad to see the tradition live on and part of me just wishes she’d move on to the next developmental milestone. Regardless, watching her create it everyday has brought back many fond memories for me.