Curated by Rola Khayyat & Jiwoon Yoon
Featuring: Omar Castaneda, He Xiangyu, Rafram Chaddad,
Elia Nurvista & Fajar Riyanto, and Sharif Waked
Exhibition Dates: Sep 4th to Oct 9th 2016
Brooklyn, NY – On September 4th Kunstraum presents “Simmer”, bringing together 5 artists from over 3 continents, most of whom live and work internationally. “Simmer” will run from September 4, 2016 – October 9, 2016 with an opening reception on September 4th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
This exhibition looks at art from beyond the confines of comfort in the art world. The assembled works investigate the politics of food through the creative practices of artists from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, South America and North Africa, in effect illuminating local histories, political identities and economic realities. Food in its universality is both a way of approaching and understanding the world, just as much as it is a medium for producing art.
Omar Castaneda (Colombia) and He Xiangyu (China) explore the ‘edible’ landscapes of globalized capitalism, and the material transformations of certain consumer products. Castaneda’s ‘Panela Project’ takes the viewers on a Panela (molasses) journey from the table to the fuel tank. Similarly, He Xiangyu speaks to the globalization of cultural history by recreating Song Dynasty Paintings of Landscapes from ink he makes from the crystals of thousands of liters of cola drink.
For artists like Sharif Waked (Palestine) and Elia Nurvista&Fajar Riyanto (Indonesia), the political, cultural, social peculiarities and particularities of the ‘dining experience’ are addressed in further depth. Sharif Waked’ s ‘Khumus’ brings to the table the fragile political reality of the Palestinian-Israeli-situation by provoking a culinary debate with roots entrenched in a long-standing political schism. Elia Nurvista&Fajar Riyanto’s ‘Hunger, Inc’ installation spotlights issues of social inequality, urging the public to reexamine its definition of poverty within the socio-political and cultural context.
Trickling into the more personal political arena, Rafram Chaddad (Tunisia) allows his childhood memories of a Tunisian Jewish meal (Maltuta) to be the base of his political and social commentary on black/white food associations. “Simmer” highlights specific cities and art scenes while emphasizing the importance of dialogues that extend cross-culturally and internationally.