Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art commissioned The Cafe, an artwork by Luke Harding in 2016. Harding playfully incorporated participatory craft workshops and an ‘inexpert’ community art aesthetic in building the cafe, designing and organising the build and all workshop events whilst questioning the boundaries between social practice, facilitation and authorship. At the time mima was embarking on a programme as a centre for Arte Útil.
The Cafe made a contribution-to, but also critiqued some of Arte Útil’s ideas.
The Cafe was an independent art and food project – often collaborating with mima and other community groups – cooking up thoughtful and playful food events, and scenarios for ‘participatory art’.