Silence Meal Flagey, Brussels, 2018 (detail) View full image

Silence Meal

NIna Backman

Silence Meal is like a social laboratory experiment where the participants’ senses are tested together and separately.

Kari Korkman, CEO Helsinki Design Week

Silence Meal is a performative dining experience hosted by the Berlin-based Finnish artist Nina Backman.

Silence Meal presents its guests with an opportunity to observe what emerges in place of spoken interaction. In removing the ingredient of the spoken word, guests are left free to explore several sensory experiences that can be both physical, emotional, spiritual or cultural in nature. These set out to invite critical reflection, to expose layers otherwise unnoticed, to challenge perceptions as yet outside our realm of experience.

Silence Meal is a site specific performance and has taken place in museums, gallery spaces, on stage, outside, or privately, with each performance being uniquely affected by its surroundings.

First conceived as part of the HIAP Residency Programme in Finland in 2013, Silence Meals have now taken place in Berlin, Brussels, Shanghai, Paris, Iceland, Norway and Finland. The work has received international acclaim in Europe with the most recent performances being hosted at the Berliner Festspiele Jazz Festival and at Flagey in Brussels.

Each Silence Meal, being a unique constellation, is documented in a variety of ways, including through film, photography and sound. Furthermore, by weaving together the traces left by the different Silence Meal, an experiential collage is coming into being.