ArtSlant – Food For Thought

15Mar12

Stroom in Den Haag is currently showing the last exhibition in a compelling series of projects called Foodprint, which addresses the way we deal with food in contemporary society, particularly in an urban environment. The final exhibition, Food Forward, asks what our relationship to food might be in the future, a valid question in a time with an increasing world population and storied food shortages on the horizon. At Stroom, four projects with this (semi-)scientific starting point zoom in on alternative ways to deal with food in the future. Artists, unlike scientists, are able to create alternative solutions to actual problems without being restrained by physical limitations. The results are futuristic, far-fetched, or even impossible, but they do pose interesting ideas.

The first work you encounter is The Hunt, a humorous early film by Christian Jankowski (who is currently selling speedboats at art fairs). Functioning as an introduction to other more serious works, this work is both the exhibition’s wittiest and least scientific. In the film the artist goes hunting for food in the urban jungle, equipped with a bow and arrow in a supermarket. He stalks his prey, a chicken in an open freezer, and shoots it with a huge arrow. After Jankowski hunts down the rest of his shopping, an imperturbable cashier scans the loot (arrows and all). The absurd situation cleverly highlights the disconnect between the source of our food and its consumption.

While The Hunt makes this point through absurdity, John O’Shea’s The Meat License Proposal addresses the issue with a grim solution to close the gap. One sentence says it all: “people who are comfortable with eating meat, should be equally comfortable with killing animals.” His plan is to force meat consumers by law to kill an animal before they are allowed to buy meat. This work is more about morality than sustainability, and this moralizing standpoint makes it more activist than any other works in the show. Following this ethical position, the artist also presents a Black Market Pudding made without killing: the blood used to make the sausage was drained from a living animal. Unfortunately, both works rely on the exhibition text to make their point; visually they aren’t that interesting. (Read more….

via ArtSlant – Food For Thought.)

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