Brown Butter is a conversation between Black artists living and working in Canada that will be presented at Agnes Etherington Art Centre in the Etherington House, Kingston, Ontario. This multi-sensory, inter- and multi-disciplinary arts installation pairs Black chefs and artists to develop an edible installation and related artifact - an audio experience, functional sculpture in which the food is served, a short film or photo book to be viewed while consuming the installation. Speaking a variety of artistic languages to define Black expression, Brown Butter is a succulent environment created to challenge the viewer through an enveloping sensuality.
Over six weeks, Brown Butter’s team of artists will fill every capacity for human perception. Directly inhaling, imbibing, and ingesting these works, viewers of Brown Butter infuse their very cells with the intentions of the artists. These consumed works become building blocks of every human who experiences Brown Butter, making this a lifelong group performance.
Brown Butter is internalization of Black Thought.
It is a gavage of Black expression.
Some bites may taste or feel unpleasant, some experiences may jar rather than soothe. This is where gastronomic arts branch away from culinary discipline. This is where we return to exploring through our senses -
to our root as oral inquisitors.
Brown Butter is the first large-scale exhibition by Berlin Reed - an independent curator, author, and chef based outside of Tiohtià:Ke//Montréal. Raised near Seattle, Reed is inspired by his German and Southern U.S. roots and a passion for culinary and agrarian traditions. His work explores expressions of Black and Queer* identities, celebrating the brilliant ingenuity held in both cultures as a form of decolonial resistance. Rooting into the language of gastronomy, in 2009, Reed began to establish himself by curating multi-dimensional pop-ups in artistic ecosystems from San Francisco to Brooklyn to Montreal - culminating in the 2013 publication of his memoir “The Ethical Butcher: How Thoughtful Eating Can Change Your World”. This nomadic chef's life led him from NYC to Montreal, where he married a Data Scientist, made a kid named after Stokely Carmicheal and Audre Lorde, and settled on a small piece of land by the river near Kahnawá:ke.
Reed co-founded Montreal immersive dining and consulting collective, Atelier Etta in 2019. In 2020, he began work with DESTA Black Youth Network, where he leads an innovative business incubator using the pop-up format to develop young entrepreneurs and provide meals for those experiencing food insecurity.
Brown Butter was presented with generous support of the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council of the Arts.