Geneva exhibition casts critical gaze on food



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Thursday 20 December 2012

Last update 20 December 2012 2:26 am

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A contemporary art show opening this week in Geneva aims to spark a dialogue on man’s intricate relationship with food in a world where nearly a billion people are undernourished, the curator said Tuesday.
“The relationship we have with food is much more complex and important than the simple connection to gastronomy,” Adelina von Fuerstenberg said in her introduction to the exhibit “FOOD,” that opened at the Ariana Museum yesterday.
Through the works of 27 artists from around the world, the traveling exhibition, which debuted in Geneva before moving on to Milan, Sao Paulo and Marseille and then back to Milan to take part in the 2015 World Expo, displays a range of issues related to food, including over-consumption and hunger.
“Every five seconds, a child under the age of 10 starves to death,” von Fuerstenberg said, pointing out that famines are often created not by a lack of food but by “global surpluses that are used to destabilize agricultural production in developing countries.”
Among the colorful mix of nearly 40 works, ranging from photographs to paintings to installations to short films, one piece called “Days in trash” for instance addresses the issue by showing a group of people removing fresh food tossed in the garbage and using it to cook up a feast. The film, part of an artistic project called “wastecooking” launched in Austria in April this year, “aims to capture the spectator’s brain through their stomach to sensitise them to the question of global food waste,” according to the description of the piece.
Spanish artist Miralda meanwhile hints at the danger of diminishing biodiversity with a piece called “Reserva Natural” featuring a number of colorful skulls created from different types of dried beans. “It’s a living artwork, even if it represents the icon of death,” he told AFP, pointing out that “it’s organic, it will disappear, but you can also water it and it will sprout.”

The exhibition, which features works by other renowned artists like Marina Abramovic of Serbia, Joseph Beuys of Germany and Pipilotti Rist of Switzerland, is set to run in Geneva until Feb. 24.

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