IMAF, which stands for International Migration Art Festival, is now in its second edition and is the embodiment of the postulate put forward by French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss: that cooking is the language of culture. Film, literature, music and visual arts are the featured genres around which this festival revolves, and is open to artists of every nationality.
In the midst of this initiative-packed calendar, a particular highlight is the Art your Food contest that invites musicians, writers, artists and filmmakers (who can submit shorts, documentaries, TV or Web formats) to send their food-themed work to be viewed and voted on by the visitors to the Festival’s website, and then judged by a jury during the closing ceremony in Milan on May 12, 2012. The contestants are vying for a chance to show their creative work to the world: the winner of the Literature category will be flown to New York, the winning Filmmaker gets a trip to Los Angeles, and the winners of the Music and Visual Arts category will travel with the IMAFestival to London.
There are numerous collateral events that accompany the Festival throughout its duration, the most important of which is a singular exhibition. While last year, the Festival organized an exhibition of contemporary art - Mangia l’arte (which means Eating art) – that gathered together works of famous artists based around traditional Italian food (from which several images are shown here), this year’s initiative is itinerant and is called Sport your Food.
2012’s idea is the following: 5 chefs and 5 artists will produce a unique performance inspired by 5 Olympic sports. The chefs will produce a recipe, the artists will create a work of art and a video and in a game of holograms, the output of the chefs and artists will engage in a dialogue, crossing art and cuisine. The inauguration of the exhibition takes place in Milan in May 2012 and will be shown in important art galleries and other locations like the renowned food store Eataly in New York. From February 2012, the exhibition will follow the Italian road tour of the Festival’s partner, EXPO2015, making stops in Milan, New York, Los Angeles and London – just in time for the Summer 2012 Olympic games. It will be the ideal stage from which to call attention to the phenomenon of migration and food as an instrument of dialogue between different cultures, which is one of the stated aims of the Festival’s creators, Rossella Canevari, Elena Maria Manzini and René Manenti.