A Note from the Editor: Parts of the Whole

Take a look: Photographer Adam Finkle played with the classic idea of the “exquisite corpse” for the images of servers in “Star Service” (page 60). He photographed heads, hands and feet to portray the essentials of good service.

The “exquisite corpse” is an adaptation of a cafe game made popular by French Surrealist artists after the turn of the last century—Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamps and the rest of those guys. The game involved folding a paper in three parts with a different artist drawing the head, the torso and the legs of an animal or person.


The trick was that the artists didn’t see what their collaborators had drawn until the paper was unfolded. Hilarity ensued at the sight of three different ideas and drawings joined together—three completely different visions forming a whole.

Good service in restaurants, as the servers I interviewed told me over and over, depends on more than an ability to deliver food promptly and fill water glasses. Most important is “reading the table,” understanding the mindset and needs of a group of diners so you can fill their needs.

That’s true of effective service in any field. You have to see the whole picture.


Recognizing only one aspect of an issue, as Susan Lacke Manville points out in her article on how Utah legislators view sex education, “Sex (mis)Education” (page 76), means you’re seeing a partial truth. And telling a partial truth can be equal to telling a complete lie—despite what politicians would argue.

It’s a timely idea because we’re the home of the Sundance International Film Festival, an event that brings together multiple, very different views of our world. Salt Lake magazine puts you in touch with this event from the perspective of several participants (Christie Marcy’s “Five Ways to Sundance,” page 69). Keep up with this year’s festival as it unfolds by checking out saltlakemagazine.com’s online coverage in January.


And it might be useful to keep the surrealists’ “exquisite corpse” in mind as we enter 2017. This state and our whole country seems to be suffering from the results of mistaking one part for the whole.mary-sig

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