In my first google explorations of the intersection between food and politics I encountered a field of academy known as ‘food studies’. This might come as no surprise for many, but for me it was quite new and got me enthusiastic. Food studies, in general terms, focuses on the critical exploration and thinking of the cultural, historical and sociological aspects of food. It’s clearly distinct from other disciplines related to food such as nutrition and gastronomy, as it aims to explore food beyond its consumption and production and has a clear interdisciplinary component.
Even though ‘Fruit Politics’ might seem as a project that could fit into the subject of interest of ‘food studies’, this is an art project so my methodologies will come from the visual arts and will probably considered quite unorthodox
I thought that a good way to start this blog was talking a little bit about the art component of my research and sharing some references of the intersection of art, food and politics.
Rirkrit Tiravanija: Many of this works involve turning the gallery into a kitchen and cooking for the visitors of the show. He is interested the social aspect of contemporary art, intending to blur the distance between the artist and the audience. He cooks typical Thai food. Here you can see a video of one of his works presented at the MoMA, it was originally created in 1992 at an exhibition entitled Untitled (Free) at 303 Gallery in New York.
Conflict Kitchen: This is how they describe themselves in their website: ‘Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration is augmented by events, performances, publications, and discussions that seek to expand the engagement the public has with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus region. The restaurant rotates identities every few months in relation to current geopolitical events.’