Mahlet Ogbe Habte
The Audience Cooking Performance (2011)
In Eritrea there is a tradition called Wofera, which means team work. Especially in the countryside, when one family builds a new cottage, the whole village will come to help. This way a work that might take months gets finished in a few weeks. The women make food, prepare coffee, tea, popcorn and so on, anything to bring a little joy and make it easier for the people working hard on the constructions.
Like Wofera, my mushroom project is a simple concept that has to do with people gathering. The audience participates in the cooking of a mushroom soup, in cutting vegetables, stirring the pot, testing and engaging in discussions.
As an artist, my role is to organize different teams that together create an interesting and joyful event. I pre-cook a simple meal to be finished by the help of many. The main point of the Mushroom Project is the audience that partakes in the cooking. They share their impact on the spot and through their contribution engage in the discourse of collective participatory work.
Biography Born 1972 in Eritrea, lives and works in Norway. Mahlet Ogbe Habte came to Norway as a refugee in 1998. She was accepted into the Rogaland School of Art, and subsequently she attenetd The Bergen National Academy, department of Fine Arts. Additionally, she is a professional chef. Among other places, she has exhibited at Heimat, Museo Revoltella, Trieste Italy, World Expo Japan Tokyo, and Bergen Group Exhibition at USF verftet.