HANS & FRITZ CONTEMPORARY and The Danish Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona are proud to collaborate on this cultural dinner event. FOOD will be a dinner that will turn upside down what you thought a meal was…involving all senses through sound, food and art.
Artists have long imagined their utopias coming equipped with kitchens. This cohort is not, of course, the first to marry food and art. A long tradition of representing food stretches from Archimboldo’s sixteenth-century portraits of vegetable-headed men, through Chardin’s eighteenth-century still-lives of dead rays and rabbits, to Wayne Thiebaud’s twentieth-century cake-like paintings of, well, cake. Vanguard rejection of representation and of traditional materials compelled a diverse array of contemporary artists to work with food in literal and often controversial fashion, as in Dieter Roth’s chocolate sculptures and sausage drawings of the mid-sixties; Carolee Schneemann’s Meat Joy happening (1964), in which nearly nude performers writhed orgiastically with raw chicken, sausage, fish, and each other; Paul McCarthy’s abject ketchup-splattered performances, begun in the seventies and continuing through today; or Jana Sterbak’s Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic (1987), sewn from fifty pounds of flank steak.
On their flipside are those enterprises created by artists who understood eating, drinking, and socializing as aesthetic activities in and of themselves, as did Filippo Marinetti when he opened the Futurist restaurant Penna d’Oco in Milan in 1930; Daniel Spoerri, who set up the first of his various restaurants in 1963 at the Galerie J in Paris with the intention of using diners’ leftovers to create his tableaux-pièges; Salvador Dalí’s Dinners at Port Lligat and more recently, Rirkrit Tiravanija, whose atmospheric Thai cooking—and its remains—have graced many an international exhibition.
Since the 1960s, partly for political reasons, food began playing a more prominent role in artists’ work. Allan Kaprow, the artist who coined the term “happenings,” frequently used food; in 1970 he built a wall of bread, with jelly for mortar, near the Berlin Wall. In 1971, artists Gordon Matta-Clark, Carol Goodden, and Tina Girouard founded the Soho establishment FOOD. This was a short-lived restaurant and conceptual art project, which has secured its place as one of the most iconic blurring of the lines between food and art.