Taking a cue from Willy Wonka, Gallaccio has created a room are covered entirely in rich, dark chocolate. Covering the gallery room's walls with a cardboard base, Gallaccio laboriously applied layer after layer of melted chocolate with paintbrushes and allowed them to harden. The end result, titled, "Stroke," overwhelms the sense and entices viewers with its tantalizing aroma. Incoming visitors are engulfed in the chocolate-y cavern, where a single bench occupies the center of the room.
"Stroke" is not so much about visual experience, but about taste, touch, and smell. Guests are invited to sit and savor the delightful fragrance while trying not to salivate too much. I imagine it's much like sitting in one of those hollow chocolate bunnies stores always sell during Easter. Those who are less shy (and not afraid of a few germs) are invited to touch, lick, or nibble on the walls to their heart's content.
If you plan on visiting, I suggest you do so soon, because this installation is not meant to last. Over time, the once sweet chocolate will turn rancid and no doubt become host to mold and insects. This is something that Gallaccio realizes and purposefully explores in her art. "I see my works as being a performance and collaboration," she says. "There is unpredictability in the materials and collaborations I get involved in. Making a piece of work becomes about chance - not just imposing will on something, but acknowledging its inherent qualities." Depending on the person, "Stroke" will "either excite or repulse you."
The installation is set to open this summer. You can watch the chocolate painting process in action below: