You Are What You Eat
Nowadays, perhaps more than ever, our relation to what we produce, eat, and ingest has become increasingly politicised. Food recipes and diet trends have turned into moral status claims, badges of political affiliation, even hopes for redemption. From advertising billboards and cooking blogs to mouth-watering Instagram pics of elaborately designed dishes, terms such as ‘gluten-free’, ‘lactose intolerant’, and ‘vegan’ have entered our daily vocabulary. We symbolically savour and allow to ferment identity and ideology through what we eat—or, in many cases, through what we abstain from eating or drinking. And yet, when sitting at the table, we rarely bind our food preferences to global malnutrition, the sins of industrial production, the ongoing controversies over genetic modifications, or the inhumane treatment of animals.
‘You are what you eat’, an aphorism that conceals more than it initially insinuates, lends its name to this exhibition, which invites us to rethink the subject of food through the angle of identity politics and ideology. Paraphrasing Claude Lévi-Strauss’ assertion that food must not only be ‘good to eat’ but also to ‘think’, the show is structured around a polyphonic narrative of disassembly.
Through their projects, six artists challenge the ‘authority status’ of a series of texts and citations drawn from a handful of sources. Their multilayered dialogue embraces the interplay between document–metaphor/symbol, past–present, and language–disarticulated speech. At the exhibition’s core lies the biopolitical body, viewed as natural life inscribed in the calculations of the modern State. Here, the body becomes a contested borderland where sovereign control is exercised via ideological battles, and where the dichotomies of nature-culture, individual–community, and spiritual–carnal/libidinal ceaselessly tangle.
Arranged as an inconclusive and variegated tableau of circulating artworks, voices, and bodies, You Are What You Eat makes a pronounced statement of scepticism in regards to the current climate of political correctness and ‘fast-food ideologies’. Its aspiration is to construct an inclusive space in which the pitfalls of identity and ideology are exposed, and where visitors are welcome regardless of their alimentary choices.
Natasha Christia (b. 1976, Greece) is a freelance curator, writer, and educator based in Barcelona. Her research focuses on the exploration and reinvention of dominant narratives through a novel reading of archival collections, the intersection of photography, film, and the photobook, and the dialogue between twentieth-century avant-garde photography and contemporary forms of expression often labelled as post-photography. In 2016, Christia was the artistic director of the fourth edition of the DOCfield Documentary Photography Festival, covering the topic ‘Europe: Lost in Translation’. She has curated various exhibitions, including, in 2017, Uncensored Books (Belgrade Photo Month; Minimum Studio, Palermo), AMORE: An Unfinished Visual Trilogy by ValentinaAbenavoli (Void/Athens Photo Festival), DraganaJurisic: My Own Unknown (Centre CulturelIrlandais, Paris), and Reversiones (Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City); and, in 2018, Lukas Birk: Travelogue Sammlung (Belgrade Photo Month; GalerieHollenstein, Lustenau; Noks Independent Art Space, Istanbul) and The Family of No Man (show co-curated with Brad Feuerhelm, Cosmos Arles Books). Since 2008, she has taught in photography schools in Spain and abroad. She regularly contributes essays on photography criticism to international publications and for artists. She was the guest editor of OjodePez Magazine 41, ‘Self Calling’; and guest editor at the Read or Die Independent Publishing Fair in Barcelona (2015), where she explored the topic ‘The Book: On Endless Possibilities’.
Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
pl. Szczepański 3a
26.04.2019, 6 pm
6 PLN / 12 PLN
Free admission: Tuesdays