Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Belt Of Fat

Justin Botz

Comfort Food

Comfort Food

At the beginning of this summer I had the prie of working with Performance Art group Belt Of Fat.

Belt Of Fat is made up of 3 artists; Moe Yousuf, Michael Chad St. John, and Kellen Walker. Together they are interested in exploring “the culture of competitive eating through performance and installation.”  The first weekend in June was their Inaugural performance at Co Prosperity Sphere as part of the Exhibition, “If All Else Fails”They had three separate performances; one on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday. The title of the weekend performance was “Sin Eaters.” Each of the performances explored the tradition of Sin Eating found in cultures around the world.

Fridays performance was titled, “Comfort Food.” As individuals entered the gallery space they where given a plate and a pencil and were told to write their sin on the plate, Then they were instructed to choose one of three dishes (corn on the cob, green bean casserole, or spagetti) to be served with their sin.  When the table was covered in food and sin, the performance began. The Sin Eaters (Mike, Moe, and Kellen), began to eat the food as fast as they could and would then read the sin out loud that was written on the bottom of the plate.

Peccadilo Pie eating contest

Peccadilo Pie eating contest

Saturday’s Performance was called “Peccadillo Pie.”  In this performance the audience was given a piece of paper to write a white lie on. The paper was given to the Sin Eaters and they wrote their creative response to the white lie given to them. The paper was then placed at the bottom of a pie trey. Each Sin Eater had three pies with a number of white lies in them. As the Sin Eaters raced to eat the pies, they read aloud the text written on the bottom of the pies

Sunday’s performance was called the “Pareidolia Picnic.”  In this piece the audience became the performers and engaged in a grilled cheese eating contest where they would eat the sins of the Sin Eaters.  Pareidolia refers to the phenomena of seeing faces in random images. On each grilled cheese sandwich was the image of one of the performers burnt into the bread.

Periedolia Picnic

Periedolia Picnic


The performances were fantastic, funny, gross, and at times poignant.  It was a pleasure to be able to see the first public performance by Belt of Fat and I’m excited to see what they cook up next.

The aftermath of competitive eating

The aftermath of competitive eating

Belt Of Fat

At the beginning of this summer I had the prie of working with Performance Art group Belt Of Fat. Belt Of Fat is made up of 3 artists; Moe Yousuf, …

Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA Justin Botz, justin.botz@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605