The last meal is a customary part of a condemned prisoner’s last day. The day before the appointed time of execution, the prisoner will be given the meal, as well as religious rites if he or she desires.… In many countries the prisoner may have the luxury of selecting what the last meal will be (within reason), and the authorities do their best to provide a prisoner with the requested meal.
– “Last meal.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 16 Dec 2008, 18:08 UTC. 19 Jan 2009
For many death row inmates in the United States, the last meal is the only order that an inmate can place while in prison. Artist Richard Kamler explored this subject with his “Last Meal” series, using the requested last meals by inmates in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. This small glimpse of who is being executed reveals the humanity that is often lost in the bureaucracy and controversy behind the death penalty. Through their representation as serial numbers, statistical figures, or political causes, death row inmates lose their basic identity as people.
For this project, Richard Kamler has expanded The Last Meal to those of us who are not incarcerated. Forcing us to think of our own mortality, we think of what would we order and, in effect, begin to relate to those on Death Row. On this site, we ask: what would you order for your last meal?
Please place your order in the comments section.
Curated by Jackie Im
The Last Meal is part of a series of e-mail exhibitions curated by NAIL (a curatorial collective in the California College of the Arts Curatorial Practice MA program) called Bad Moon Rising 3.2. Taking place over the course of twelve days, the e-mail exhibition exposes the dark underside of America through the arts.