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Enemy Kitchen 

Michael Rakowitz 

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 



As part of Rakowitz’s exhibition Backstroke to the West, I worked collaboratively with a core team to host Enemy Kitchen. An ongoing community project by the artist, Enemy Kitchen was started in New York in 2003. This iteration happened on the plaza of the museum and was free to visitors. A vintage 1960s ice cream truck previously dormant in Chicago was revived through a kickstarter campaign and moved to the plaza for the duration of the exhibition. Pan-institutional teams were activated to launch and service the project and program - the food -  kofta(meatballs), kubba stew, masgouf (grilled fish), and amba and fattoush salads were prepared by chefs in the museum and the project was managed by the artists and a team of American Veterans, who had served during the Iraq War. They were temporarily employed by the institution. 


Evidence of Outcome:

  • successful $100k kickstarter campaign revived the project and brought greater visibility of the museum

  • coordinated multiple operational and hospitality stakeholders to deliver

  • animated museum public spaces and engaged the local communities, drew 15,000 visitors over 10-week period. 

Enemy Kitchen, part of exhibition Backstroke of the West 2017, MCA Chicago, 2017 Photos Nathan Kaey©MCA 

Enemy Kitchen
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