What does a famous French artist do at a VIP dinner in his honour, when his dessert starts crawling around in the bowl?

If you are Christian Boltanski, you are highly amused, intrigued, say “non, non”, clap your hands to your face, and finally agree to have one popped into your mouth.

I snapped Boltanski at the dinner at Carriageworks in Sydney, as Parisian art consultant Eva Albarran encouraged him to try a live Australian native green tree ant.

Boltanski was in Sydney for the opening of his massive Carriageworks installation called Chance. Dinner was cooked in situ by Sydney star chef Kylie Kwong, who has started using indigenous foods in her cooking.

And Boltanski’s reaction to the citrus-like flavour of the live ants? “Pas mauvais” (not bad), the artist conceded.

Elizabeth Fortescue, January 13, 2014, Sydney

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