Dinner at gobyfish’s: Can We Make Art While Eating?

Dinner at gobyfish’s: Can We Make Art While Eating?

Giorgia Massari · 2 months ago · Art

The presence and absence of food determine the living condition of the human being, which is why food is in every way a tool of dominion. It is power, it is justice. From these reflections, the research for the all-female collective based in London, gobyfish, develops. The three artist-cooks, decidedly anticapitalist, offer the public performative and conceptual meals, focusing on the acts of cooking and eating as true rituals, with an outlook on sharing and collaboration. During their experimental dinners, which can also be defined as edible installations, Fenella Brereton, Maia Magoga, and Alia Hamaoui (founders of gobyfish) stimulate the diners to engage in conversation around a social and ecological dimension of food. While on one hand, the intention is to delve into an ancestral past, exploring, for example, pre-human advancements like the discovery of fire and the invention of kitchen utensils, on the other hand, gobyfish reflects on the future, currently entirely speculative. The promoted conversations always originate from the awareness that food shapes our landscape and is, more than anything, an impactful element from a socio-ecological standpoint. Let’s delve further into the narrative through the description of two performative meals organized by gobyfish.

Effervescent, the connection with the non-human microbial world

«A question that we like to continuously come back to is: how can we think less like humans?» explains gobyfish on their website, inviting the audience to perceive the sensations of their own bodies, starting, for example, from the porosity of the skin or the warmth of saliva, to then shift attention to the stomach, the home of various microbial populations that regulate the health, brain function, and mood of human beings. Based on this reflection, at the core of the collective’s research, the Effervescent event celebrated the fermentation process as a tool capable of connecting humans with the microbial world. «Our bodies are shared, hosting around 90% bacteria,» explains gobyfish, «the dinner opened a dialogue that reminded guests of their interconnected nature. Fermented foods help replenish our internal ecosystems, which have coevolved with us since birth. Without these microorganisms our immune and digestive systems could not survive. Crafting a menu with a microbial population is a grounding process that requires patience and appreciation for their timely gifts, while also allowing us to connect to this unseen world.»

The Fucus seaweed, antimicrobial and a potential plastic substitute

In the Fucus happening, another interesting aspect of gobyfish’s research emerges, exploring the mysteries and potentialities in a broad sense that food hides. In other words, the three artist-cooks emphasize the importance of studying and understanding the properties of each food that nature offers us. The protagonist of this experimental lunch, which gave its name to the event, was the Fucus seaweed and its properties. Above all, its antimicrobial action, capable of combating bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus aureus, in addition to its ability to absorb and retain nutrients, sequester carbon, promote soil regeneration, and serve as a substitute for plastic. A conceptual dinner based on the exploration of the mysteries of algae and ecosystems of these life forms. «They also gave us exciting flavour combinations to work with when designing a menu. Sharing aquatic flavours and textures was a way of inviting everyone around the table to explore these tentacular organisms and their potential to heal our land and bodies

We’ve already discussed our fascination with food here, but gobyfish goes far beyond. They don’t stop at the material and aesthetic aspects linked to visual culture but understand and perceive the power and implications it can have, whether dramatic or salvific, depending on our choices and actions. The answer to our initial question can only be yes, we can make art by eating, because it implies the preceding ritual of preparation and the subsequent one of sharing. All following a logic where art remains a tool capable of stimulating dialogues and reflections on contemporaneity, even attempting to propose solutions to current issues.

courtesy gobyfish

Dinner at gobyfish’s: Can We Make Art While Eating?
Art
Dinner at gobyfish’s: Can We Make Art While Eating?
Dinner at gobyfish’s: Can We Make Art While Eating?
1 · 14
2 · 14
3 · 14
4 · 14
5 · 14
6 · 14
7 · 14
8 · 14
9 · 14
10 · 14
11 · 14
12 · 14
13 · 14
14 · 14
Ivana Sfredda, If We Assimilate To Enjoy (And To Lose Ourselves)

Ivana Sfredda, If We Assimilate To Enjoy (And To Lose Ourselves)

Giorgia Massari · 3 days ago · Photography

I’m not sure if it’s the sexual component that catches my attention. Perhaps it’s some elements, especially snails, that evoke a sense of familiarity in me, but also nostalgia for something I can’t quite identify. There’s a call back to my childhood, and it’s precisely the snails that evoke it. They were my only playmates when I spent the summer in a remote mountain location, in my grandparents’ garden which after a storm became the perfect habitat for these small creatures, as slimy as they were curious. Back then, I would pick them up from their shells, place them on my arms, and let them slide over me, amused by the trail of slime they left on my skin. I didn’t know it then, but I was assimilating them. In fact, that’s exactly what Ivana Sfredda talks about in the photos she showed me a few weeks ago in her studio in Milan. Soak up is the title of the series still in work in progress that the Molisan photographer has been working on since 2022, or perhaps even earlier. Interpreting the Anglo-Saxon term “soak up” literally, it refers to the sensation of enjoyment perceived in the act of assimilation. A unique human and animal need, that of joining someone or something, of being connected, and of “annihilating the boundaries that delimit a body.”

ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda

Ivana Sfredda’s macro shots do not contemplate any subject hierarchy. A strawberry in a man’s mouth, a group of worms intertwined, a droplet about to fall from an old faucet, all appear one after the other in a carousel of images that dance hand in hand in a perpetual circle, without jerks or arrogance. Hand in hand, united, assimilated into each other, in the other. So that in the act of encounter between two bodies, there is no longer a “my body” and “your body.” The power dynamics that humans have built in the relationship between artifact and nature are nullified. Perhaps this is where my childhood memory fits in, where it is clear that in that space-time arc, I did not know of this imposition, and no construct had yet had time to settle in the logic that today exists in me, the inequality of man > animal or even more so, artificial > nature.

ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda

But there is something beyond this unconsciousness or yet uncorrupted consciousness. Ivana explains it to me by citing Mario Perniola, a philosopher, writer, and theorist of contemporary art, delving into the sexuality mentioned earlier. Because it is clear that in the union of two bodies there is a tension that moves them towards each other, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be laden with a pleasurable end. Perhaps it’s just an unconscious need to lose one’s original form?

«Perniola identifies in sexuality a point of suspension that he defines as neutral sexuality: the detachment from one’s own body that implies a sense of estrangement, cybernetic and indeed neutral. This erotic impulse detaches itself from the pursuit of carnal pleasure in function of an intense contact where the organic and inorganic body becomes a meaningful surface. A very powerful communication system that leaps beyond the categories of human/artificial, human/animal, animal/artificial – relative to being as such – which traces the fluid architectures of an alternative body.»

ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda

As explained by Ivana Sfredda, in the encounter with the other, the self feels fulfilled. This reminds me of a book I read some time ago when I was searching for a more conscious self. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle – found in the “esotericism” section of a bookstore – actually talked about this. It discussed how the self exists only in the reflection in the other, when the annulment of the ego occurs, which only defines the boundaries of a prison where a false narrative of ourselves lives. So, in Ivana Sfredda’s shots, which she explains to me are a sort of exercise and play, all this is visually translated, as if to illustrate the daily and widespread existence of continuous equal and harmonious connections between elements that seem distant both in a hierarchical and semantic sense.

«The series focuses on the meaning of contact and relational energy, an exercise in imagining how these incomplete relationships can represent profound portals of learning.»

ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda
ivana sfredda

Courtesy & Copyright Ivana Sfredda

Ivana Sfredda, If We Assimilate To Enjoy (And To Lose Ourselves)
Photography
Ivana Sfredda, If We Assimilate To Enjoy (And To Lose Ourselves)
Ivana Sfredda, If We Assimilate To Enjoy (And To Lose Ourselves)
1 · 13
2 · 13
3 · 13
4 · 13
5 · 13
6 · 13
7 · 13
8 · 13
9 · 13
10 · 13
11 · 13
12 · 13
13 · 13
Alec Gill and Hessle Road photo archive

Alec Gill and Hessle Road photo archive

Anna Frattini · 3 days ago · Photography

Alec Gill is an English photographer, historian, and psychologist born in Hull, a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire county, famously known for its port. A few years ago, a crowdfunding campaign was launched on Kickstarter to celebrate the fifty-year anniversary of the first photo taken for the project dedicated to Hessle Road with a book, and we’re discussing it here today. The archive of 7,000 photographs – taken with his Rolleicord twin-lens reflex camera – dates back to the decade between 1970 and 1980. There are 240 images included in The Alec Gill Hassle Road photo archive, and in each of them, one can feel the atmosphere of a very difficult historical moment for the residents. It marks the decline of the fishing industry and the demolitions of mass housing in the area.

alec gill photo archive

The Alec Gill Hassle Road photo archive

The book, launched on May 18th last year, was written and conceived by Iranzu Baker and Fran Méndez. In this interview with Port, Baker discusses some aspects of working with Alec Gill. The photographer – during the writing of the book – proved to be «endlessly curious, extremely determined and dedicated». During those years, Gill also focused on the lack of play areas for children and how younger generations adapted to the changes in the area. Another goal was certainly to freeze time before the end of an era. That of fishing in the area, ended with the Cod Wars starting from 1958 until 1972 and 1975. A piece of history that thanks to Gill has not been forgotten.

Gill’s is a genuine inclination towards the stories of the underdogs. The aim was to ensure that these stories were told, both now and at the time of the shots. The Alec Gill Hassle Road photo archive is not just a social study, therefore. It is a testament to the relationship Gill has established on a human level with his fellow citizens. Their stories seem to tell themselves in front of the photographer’s lens. Furthermore, the naturalness of the shots not only captures the theme of childhood but also communicates extremely functionally moments of the daily life of the inhabitants of Hassle Road.

Alec Gill and Hessle Road photo archive
Photography
Alec Gill and Hessle Road photo archive
Alec Gill and Hessle Road photo archive
1 · 10
2 · 10
3 · 10
4 · 10
5 · 10
6 · 10
7 · 10
8 · 10
9 · 10
10 · 10
Nanni Licitra’s non-places

Nanni Licitra’s non-places

Giorgia Massari · 2 days ago · Photography

Nanni Licitra ‘s (1988) photographs focus primarily on non-places, anonymous and impersonal spaces that dot urban peripheries. Licitra transforms these marginal areas into other scenarios that acquire new meaning. We are talking about the series Hell end in Hell, whose images are emblematic reflections of a society in transformation, where the individual struggles to find a sense of belonging and identity in an increasingly chaotic and alienating context. The series, winner of the Liquida Photofestival Grant, on view in Turin from May 2 to 5, is a true socio-cultural analysis that reflects in toto the contradictions of contemporary society.

nanni licitra

Nanni Licitra ha iniziato la sua ricerca fotografica nel 2008 concentrandosi esclusivamente sulla fotografia analogica. Questa scelta non è casuale; infatti, la fotografia analogica richiede una pazienza e una precisione che si riflettono nel suo approccio distaccato e contemplativo. Licitra si pone come uno spettatore attento delle realtà che lo circondano, privilegiando uno sguardo che va oltre le apparenze per cogliere l’essenza delle cose. L’utilizzo dell’analogico da parte di Licitra non è solo una scelta tecnica, ma rappresenta anche una dichiarazione di intenti. In un’epoca dominata dalla velocità e dall’effimero delle immagini digitali, il fotografo siciliano opta per un ritmo più lento e contemplativo, che permette di approfondire le tematiche trattate e di trasmettere un senso di nostalgia e malinconia tipico dei non luoghi.

nanni licitra
nanni licitra

Courtesy Nanni Licitra

Nanni Licitra’s non-places
Photography
Nanni Licitra’s non-places
Nanni Licitra’s non-places
1 · 10
2 · 10
3 · 10
4 · 10
5 · 10
6 · 10
7 · 10
8 · 10
9 · 10
10 · 10
MIA Photo Fair, What We Liked Most

MIA Photo Fair, What We Liked Most

Giorgia Massari · 2 days ago · Photography

The preview of the eighth edition of MIA Photo Fair, the photography fair that returns to Milan every year with a selection of international artists, was held yesterday, April 10. This year it is no longer in the usual Superstudio Maxi, but moves next to the star of the week, Miart. So that, potentially, in one day the bravest can see two fairs by getting off at the Portello metro stop. Miart at gate 5 of Allianz MiCo while MIA Photo at gate 16. Getting to the point, let’s talk about what we liked. As is always the case, following the trade fair system, many of the exhibits are seen and seen again, but still enjoyable to review such as shots by established photographers of the caliber of Giovanni Gastel and Ugo Mulas, or even photojournalists Fausto Giaccone and Carlo Orsi. But, among the many evergreens we have unearthed a few new ones, perhaps a few names we have already heard, but not so much in our opinion. Therefore, we made a selection of our favorite booths.

#1 Maria Svarbova – ARTITLEDcontemporary (B022)

mia photo fair

#2 Irina Werning – OTM Gallery (B023)

mia photo fair

#3 Karla Hiraldo Voleau – Christophe Guye Galerie (B019)

mia photo fair

#4 Laetitia Ky – LIS10 Gallery (E014)

mia photo fair

#5 Giulia Frump – Young Art Hunters (F018)

#6 Paolo Ventura – MarcoRossi ArteContemporanea (A022)

mia photo fair

#7 Daniele Ratti – VisionQuest 4Rosso (C018)

mia photo fair

#8 Najla Said – Mashrabia Gallery (F005)

mia photo fair

#9 Angelo Formato – Welcome to my known collective exhibition

mia photo fair

#10 Thorsten Brinkmann – Galleria Fumagalli (A019)

mia photo fair

MIA Photo Fair will remain open until Sunday, April 14.

MIA Photo Fair, What We Liked Most
Photography
MIA Photo Fair, What We Liked Most
MIA Photo Fair, What We Liked Most
1 · 11
2 · 11
3 · 11
4 · 11
5 · 11
6 · 11
7 · 11
8 · 11
9 · 11
10 · 11
11 · 11