Jennifer Rubell Recreates Creation for Performa 09

Presumably, party designer Jennifer Rubell rested after reinterpreting the story of creation at a benefit for Performa 09, New York’s three-week biennial of performance art. The festivities took place on three floors of the X Initiative in Chelsea, bringing in nearly 600 guests including artist Cindy Sherman, David Byrne, Alan Cumming, Michael Stipe, and chef Mario Batali. On the first floor, guests had the option to choose from 3,600 drinking glasses, which Rubell told The New York Times represented the “beautiful fragility” of the Garden of Eden, and then move over to a pyramid of unshelled peanuts, a symbol of Adam tilling the garden’s soil. The next floor served 2,000 pounds of honey-soaked ribs, which Rubell connected literally to the creation of woman. After reaching into the five aluminum stockpot centerpieces, some of which encased wet-naps, guests could then move onto final floor, featuring fallen apple trees and pedestals topped with Jacques Torres bunnies, adopted from Jeff Koons’ stainless-steel version of the furry creatures. With hammers set for guests to break the bunnies, Rubell explains the final level’s correlation to the expulsion from the Garden of Eden—“the idea of being human is more important than being perfect,” she explained.