A Feast of Sorts
Ravi Agarwal, 2014
Levi Strauss’s Culinary Triangle draws a connection between “nature” and “culture.” It points towards the idea of food as a need which goes beyond mere survival, but which generates traditions, cultures and politics. Food shapes our geographies, technologies and economies. By creating multiple ecologies of desire, it helps form the worlds we inhabit. Lying within the interstices of these intermeshed basic evolutionary impulses, are clues to possible sustainable futures.
(Ack: First conceived of during “In Context: public.art.ecology, Food Residency Ed. III,” May 2014, Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi)
I) A Feast of Sorts –An investigation of food with three very different “practitioners.” (Installations with 4 videos on monitors, table with text, four stools.)
Cognition – Prof. Rukmini Bhaya, Nair
(38 mins. approx.. video HD)
Prof. Nair is a linguist, a poet and an author. Delving into the complex and intertwined world of cognition, language, the development of senses, taste, identity, culture, social power etc., she unravels the complex ways in which food is inseparable from our selves.
Abstinence- Sikander Ali Baba,
(25 mins. approx. video HD)
Sikander Ali is a Sufi baba, roaming the countryside, immersed in a meditative practice dedicated to God. He speaks of the relationship of food as a form of fasting, denial, suffering in the quest for a higher self.
Immersion- Mona Gandhi
(28 mins. approx.. video HD)
Mona is a raw food aficionado. She takes food out of the traditional notions of ‘culture’ and reinserts it, along with herself, in a secular idea of politics and health. Her food is deeply integrated with her personal journey and identity.
(6.5 mins video loop. HD
II) I’m lovin’ it – Animated photograph on monitor, neon sign,
III) Food Stalls – 16 photographic prints, 11X 16 ” each
A Culinary Lineage
(with apologies to Claude Lévi-Strauss)
5 Photographic prints (18” x 22” each), 6 objects
Millet, an arid weather crop, was staple diet in my grandmother’s village in Rajasthan, before being replaced by rice and wheat after the green revolution.