FOOD and Other Practices at the Arthouse

FOOD and Other Practices at the Arthouse

Visual Culture and Contemporary Art Journal #4, (ed.) Ali Akbar Mehta and Vidha Saumya, Published by Aalto University, Espoo, 2018

EDITORIAL

“This is not a COOKBOOK. This journal contains alternate practices of people who have come to Aalto University to study Visual Culture and Contemporary Art (ViCCA), as well as Curating, Managing and Mediating Art (CuMMA), but who are also engaged in food – who through food and the production of food, find familiarity (the root word of which is familia, the same root word for family) and the building blocks of community.

Several events have unfolded and journeys undertaken as a result of the simple act of cooking food as a community within the Arthouse. Primarily the domestic act of cooking entered the studio oriented space of an Art Institution. Students are steadily rejecting institution approved cafeterias, choosing to cook their own food during lunch hours or together in the evenings, opting to take better care of themselves and those around them, acting on the need to find alternative systems, practicing alternative economies. Conversations accompanying the practice of cooking have lead to an extensive inquiry of each other’s individual and regional cultures, personalities and worldviews. Recipes serve as manifestos, as epistemological tools of knowledge gathering.

Most members/ students of the ViCCA and CuMMA program, as well as the extended community members have slowly bonded into something larger than just a collection of students. These partnerships extend outside the Arthouse kitchen, seeping into the artistic and curatorial praxis of the students and faculty.

Within this journal, contributors talk about a wide range of subjects – parallel economies of artistic production, community building, ethics, kitchen as a space of conflict, counter cultural practices, everyday aesthetics, everyday performances of resistance, role of the Institution, feminism, cultural anthropology, object oriented ontology – and of course, food – using them to launch conversations about a diverse set of ideologies, narratives, and memories to understand how they play an important part of artistic practice, the learning culture within the Arthouse, our home and place of refuge.”

– Ali Akbar Mehta, 2018

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