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The art of eating: Food Obsession

Nov. 23, 2022
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Gärna Art Gallery and Urvanity Projects present Food Obsession. A group exhibition that brings us closer to a new generation of international artists who cook a new figuration and set the table to talk about excess, waste, symbolism, brands or lack.


The exhibition opens on November 23 and will be on view until January 9.


Sergio Sancho and Sara Coriat, from Urvanity Projects, get into the kitchen and offer us an exhibition, as curators, whose protagonist is the sustenance or the act of eating. There are a dozen international artists talking about a subject that has always been, in one way or another, in the history of art. In every decade, in every century, these representations have been a reflection of the society they portrayed. From Andy Warhol’s soup cans and the era of mass consumerism, to 17th century Flemish still lifes and the moral sentiments behind Roman mosaics and frescoes that tell of an elite having fun.



“We don’t all know how to farm, shop or cook, but we all have to eat: we must be experts at feeding ourselves. However, our environment is evolving faster than our bodies: most of us lead sedentary lives in overheated buildings, but our appetite seems ready to accept whatever pace the food industry imposes on us, as Carolyn Steel says in Hungry Cities,” says Sancho. And Coriat explains, “our ancient survival instinct is still intact in our brains and urges us to keep eating whatever is put in front of us, whether we are hungry or not.”


The curators ask themselves: is there a relationship between how we consume food and how we consume art today, between the voracity of the art market and how we feed ourselves? We find the answer in Food Obsession. The exhibition also presents a new generation of artists who are betting on a new figuration that is conquering the international art markets. They come from Vienna, Brussels, Los Angeles, Lisbon and Buenos Aires.


From the supermarket to the after, passing through the table



This visual feast has two steps. Before getting tangled up with recipes or casseroles, the first stop is to stock up. Magical supermarket of “Brillo y Fantasía” Superfoods for the Soul is an installation by artists Sergio Mora and Lusesita. It is the recreation of a neighborhood establishment where the products are small works of art -serialized and signed- ready to go. “The idea is to play with the context to question our perception, blurring the boundaries between what is considered art and what are considered commercial products,” say the curators.



Once the cart is filled, the visual agape begins. In the second part we find gluttony and insatiability in the work of Ana Barriga; Hannah Epstein’s interpretation of the Goldilocks tale through greed and Western consumption habits, presenting the protagonist as the ultimate white colonizer who consumes the resources of others without concern; digital sedentarism, waste and anthropological analysis of the present in the work of Nicolás Romero; the ceramic feasts of Culitomatón (Laura Lagraña) and Lusesita; the ordinariness of consumerism and the informality of the brands that surround us with Ricardo Passaporte; the irony, humor and approach to ‘the good life’ in the work of Bieke Buckinx; the tribute to food from Latin America in the iconic women of Fatima de Juan; the dreamlike and sometimes close to absurd world of Reihaneh Hosseini and the radiography with surrealist touches of Francesc Roselló’s after-dinner conversation.