I spent April 2022 in Spoleto, Italy in residence at Mahler & LeWitt Studios, working on my forthcoming book, which explores the relationship between food and art, by way of art works created between the 1960s and 1990s that involve food as a material. Rather than pictures of food these works offer audiences a direct encounter with food, to be eaten and shared in community, as a sensory object, or to be experienced in processes of cultivation, transformation, performances, digestion, and decomposition.
The book dismantles art historical hierarchies of the senses, and expands the sensory appreciation of art to include the food-related senses of smell, taste and touch, as well as visceral and other interoceptive sensations. It celebrates the subversive potency of art that engages these so-called ‘lower’ senses, and its capacity to connect people with their bodily experience. Through its choice of artworks, the book brings a range of concerns into focus: the ways food reflects constructions of gender, race and class; how political and economic conditioning and privilege determine our definitions and experiences of food, and how food can create a bridge between cultures.
The book will be published in 2023 by Atelier Éditions.