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In Gullet, Heiman subverted the fantasy of the family’s sanctity. She fabricated fictive families – a mixture of acquaintances, authentic family members, and total strangers. The radical treatment, the props, the stylized design, the humor, the exaggeration, and the grotesque lend each of the meals an air of familiarity and estrangement at the same time. The reverse screening creates a discharge effect, as if the food is returned from the mouth to the plates that gradually pile in the course of the meal. The body language is distorted, and the reverse sound transforms the rustle of knives and forks into a hiccup-filled fencing match. A potentially intimate graceful moment of familial togetherness becomes a hollow choreography that speaks of loneliness and detachment.

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