Living Table: Final Meals

Final Meals, presented as part of Living Table on Wednesday 28 June, 1-4pm.

The event will include a screening of Final Meals followed by a meal we prepare and eat together. Following this we will discuss and consider the question, ‘how do we move from a punitive culture to a restorative culture?’. The event will be led by Lucky Pierre collective member and artist, Kevin Kaempf.

About Final Meals

With 515 and counting, Texas has executed the most prisoners since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S in 1976. Up until 2011, the state gave the condemned inmates the opportunity to request a customized final meal. Following a lavish request by a prisoner, and his ultimate refusal to eat it, Texas abolished the “last meal” tradition. Up until that point, however, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) made the details of the 310 meals known to the public.

In their ongoing project Final Meals, the collaborative Lucky Pierre has been performing and filming people eating these meal requests. In the early stages of the work, Lucky Pierre members prepared and ate the meals, and later on cooked them for others. Recently they created a singular and contemplative performance for one, as they ask a volunteer to sit with a meal prepared for them for 25 minutes while being filmed from above. The volunteer choose to either eat the food or not. The volunteers are later invited to have a communal dinner, while watching and discussing the growing archive of video footage of the performances. 


Banana, peach and garden salad with ranch dressing (V) (February 3, 1998)

Chef salad with ranch dressing, double meat cheeseburger (all the way), French fries, ketchup, and a chocolate shake (January 31, 2002)

Book Tickets

Kevin Kaempf works collaboratively creating projects, events, and publications. His practice values conversation, social spaces, and participatory processes. Kaempf’s projects have included jointly running the experimental community space Mess Hall in Chicago, creating environmental pilot programs in locations throughout the US; and working with the performance collective Lucky Pierre. Kaempf has presented work at The DeVos Art Museum, Northern Michigan University, Marquette; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; White Columns, NY; Live Arts Development Agency, London. Kaempf has been an artist-in-residence at Illinois State University School of Art; Ox-Bow School of Art; testsite in Austin, Texas. He is currently Associate Professor of Art at the Milwaukee School of Art and Design.


Lucky Pierre, founded in 1996, is a Chicago-based collaborative group working in writing, performance, and visual forms. Lucky Pierre creates structures for engagement with various publics. In these forms, they explore complex issues and ideas (political, aesthetic, social) in ways that accommodate a wide range of experience, styles and approaches. The open structure allows collaborators and viewers to define their own participation; helping to create the meaning, and determine the final form and outcome of the work.


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