Berbere Plates


In the piece, Berbere Plates, the artist Sioux Bean drew inspiration from three entities: clay, food, and culture; using these three veins of inspiration, SiouxBean used the Mariko Fauna, or Ethiopian brown pepper as his main food element. Mariko Fauna is the base pepper used in the spice blend known as Berbere, a spice blend that is the main staple for most Ethiopian cuisine.   The artist SiouxBean created an interactive performance “dish” for the viewer to both consume, as well as participate in a final kinetic iteration at the end of the course.  Up to 40 un-fired clay vessels were made in the shape of an Aksh, a large round plate used to roast coffee and make injera bread.  Within the raw unfired clay vessels, SiouxBean placed the seeds of the Mariko Fauna pepper.  The participants enjoyed an edible element inspired from the Mariko Fauna pepper. At the beginning of the edible element, the participant smashed the vessel, releasing the contained seeds; the participants were then invited to take the shards with them to plant, completing the cycle and ending the piece.