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Can a fortune cookie connect us in times of isolation? 

West Des Moines, Iowa, May 20, 2020 –  A pile of fortune cookies will be showing up to the Des Moines metro area soon. However, these cookies are anything but run-of-the mill.  The fortune cookies are part of a global art installation in response to Covid-19.

The show presented by Andrea Rosen Gallery and David Zwirner “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) is that of the renowned late artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres and will run from May 25 – July 5, 2020. The installation is an pile of fortune cookies which can be taken away and consumed by viewers. Dealer Andrea Rosen told ARTnews, “We are all thinking about virtual experiences and how disconnected we all feel virtually, and yet Felix’s work is something that can physically happen. It can be a physical experience that can connect us all.”

In order to execute the work, 1000 global hosts were contacted to install between 240 – 1000 fortune cookies in their place of choice. The artist left detailed instructions on how such works should be installed in his absence. This permits the works to be eternally present. Among those 1000 invited to participate are artists, collectors, friends and colleagues of Gonzalez-Torres and Rosen. Des Moines area artist and current Iowa Arts Council Fellow, Amenda Tate was invited to take part in manifesting this ambitious exhibition. Tate is best known for her Manibus Project which uses a motion-controlled paintbot to translate dance into abstract painted works of art.

Tate will be installing the work in a setting that is both public and private – at her studio and residence. She is making the work accessible to the public and will be documenting the impact it has on the community. As a participant, she will collect documentation of the project in photos and video and reflect on the effects through questions such as “Did the experience provide a sense of continuity or connection with others? Did you feel like you were part of a whole? Or did it emphasize your sense of isolation? And how does this resonate with or change your experiences of this global moment?” The global narrative of “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) be followed on the websites of both Andrea Rosen and David Zwiner. However, to see local updates, you can also follow along at or on Instagram @AmendaTate.

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According to Tate, she is “excited about a project of this magnitude, the hope it instills, and its potential to connect community.” She has already begun preparations for a secondary project that will tell a narrative more specific to Iowans and the culture and community here during Covid-19.

Amenda Tate is an Interdisciplinary Artist and a current Iowa Arts Council Fellow. She lives and works in West Des Moines, Iowa.

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