Visitors to this year's Frieze art fair have been won over by soup so delicious nobody seems to care that it is made from potentially radioactive radishes.
Huge queues of willing guinea pigs have been lining up to taste the soup (which is doled out for free) for the past three days at the London art fair.
The installation, Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent?, is by Japanese conceptual artists United Brothers who hail from the tsunami and earthquake hit prefecture of Fukushima.
Despite assurances that the vegetables are safe to eat, the artists are offering the public the conceptual possibility that they are toxic.
The duo believe that food “represents hospitality, sharing and humanity” so, by partaking in the soup, the public can show solidarity with the victims of the Fukushima disaster. They want to see if individuals outside Japan would risk their well-being for such a gesture.
“It’s one of those projects where you don’t know if there is going to be a huge queue or whether no one is going to go near it,” Frieze director Matthew Slotover told The Independent in September.
But the Regent's Park art fair apparently attracts a brave bunch. Contemporary Art Society curator Robert Dingle enjoyed the soup so much on Wednesday he went back for seconds the following day.
“Before trying the soup I did watch to see if anyone else was eating it,” Dingle said. “Once I could see that other people were enjoying it I thought I’d give it a try.”
Dingle says the soup tastes “absolutely delicious” and is a greenish brown colour rather than the toxic green of the press photos in Frieze’s catalogue (above).
“I don’t know exactly what the base is but it might be a miso. It seemed to change the second time I had it and had something interesting floating it in it – I’m not quite sure what , maybe a crab stick?” he said.
In pictures: Frieze art fair 2014
In pictures: Frieze art fair 2014
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A visitor views part of an installation by artist Carsten Holler entitled 'Gartenkinder' at the Frieze Art Festival in London
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Richard Tuttle’s ‘I Don’t Know, Or the Weave of Textile Material’
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Christoph Büchel’s ‘Sleeping Guard’, (2009) at Frieze
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Ramble by Richard Serra (2014)
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A woman looks at a work of art by US artist Joyce Pensato entitled 'Micky for Micky 2014' displayed at the Frieze Art Fair in London
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A visitor looks at an artwork by Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno entitled 'NGC 5892, 2013' displayed at the Frieze Art Fair in London
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A visitor passes artworks by Alexander Calder "La Mezza Luna per un Lunatico" and Agostino Bonalumi's untitled work at the Frieze Masters in London
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An installation by artist Friedrich Kunath entitled ''RE Vuillard (LAX) at the Frieze Art Festival in London
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An installation by artist Farhad Moshiri entitled 'Colored Knives on Black' is displayed at the Frieze Art Fesival in London
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A woman looks at an untitled work of art by US artist Sarah Crowner displayed at the Frieze Art Fair in London
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A visitor stands next to paintings by artist Rob Pruitt entitled 'Suicide Painting LI' and 'Suicide Painting XLVII' as he views an installation by the same artist titled 'Coffee Table/Coke Table' during the VIP and press day at the Frieze Art Festival in London
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A visitor views artist Reg Butler's artwork "Bending Girl" at the Frieze Masters in London
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Sasha Burkhanova reacts to performers of artist James Lee Byers' artwork "Ten in a Hat", a replica of the original 1968 version, at the Frieze Art Fair in London
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A man looks at an artwork by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson entitled 'Schools of Movement Sphere' displayed at the Frieze Art Fair in London
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A visitor poses with artist John Stezaker's artwork "Shadow" at the Frieze Art Fair in London
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Works by artists Slavs and Tatars entitled 'Tongue Twist Her' (R), 'Love Letters (No. 7) and 'Swinging Septum' (L) are displayed at the Frieze Art Festival in London
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Carsten Höller, who is best known for his work Test Site, a series of giant slides for Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, has created a new form of children's playground for Frieze. The installation at the Gagosian Gallery’s Frieze stand, entitled Gartenkinder, has walls and floor in red, green, blue and yellow, and includes all sorts of weird and wonderful play things, such as a large-scale dice that children can crawl inside, a giant mushroom that rocks like a roly-poly toy, a Perplexity Ball, whose bouncing direction cannot be predicted, an uncannily realistic octopus, and other elements. The installation emphasises the importance of play. Children can interact with the different sculptures placed at their disposition and be watched while doing so
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General views as Serpentine Galleries marks the beginning of Frieze week by unveiling a specially commissioned fountain made from garden hoses by artist Bertrand Lavier at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery from 13 October 2014 through till 4 October 2015 at The Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London
A slightly apprehensive Guardian columnist, Sophie Heawood , was disappointed to find that all the free soup had run out by the time she got there. After managing to get hold of a cup she found the soup so “delicious” that she necked the whole thing in one go. “At the time of going to print, I am not yet dead,” she writes
Regardless, United Brothers Ei and Tamoo Arakawa (the former is an internationally renowned artist, the latter owned several tanning shops prior to the Fukushima disaster) and Frieze have made assurances that the soup is safe and the radishes are approved by the Japanese Farmers’ Association.
Asked if he was worried, Dingle said: “I trust Frieze when they tell me it is safe…I will keep you posted if I start to develop any extra limbs.”
The 12th Frieze Art Fair in London’s in Regent’s Park finishes tomorrow. It involves 160 contemporary art galleries, while its sister fair Frieze Masters, concentrates on historical art.
Other notable works this year include the Hauser & Wirth stand, where Turner Prize-winner Mark Wallinger has recreated Sigmund Freud’s London study; and the Gagosian gallery’s children’s playground installation by Carsten Höller.