Gionatan Lassandro, the organiser of the Foodam - Food for future contest and exhibition, explains some of the presented works.
Is there a fil rouge that ties together the chosen projects?
Yes, there are two common threads: sustainability and visuality. The macro-themes were creating awareness, teaching the importance of saving and, though the use of graphics, illustrating the trends of today’s societies and revealing possible future scenarios.
Some works in particular, have put emphasis on the aesthetics tied to marketing…
Packaging is an important lever, especially in this historical moment in which the “visual” element carries so much weight. It’s very important in the food sector, just think about the “Bio” or “Organic” items that never feature acidic colours. You can convince people to eat insects if they’re contained in an attractive package, as proven by the “shock” project by Jorien Kemerink, Illusion of a small word.
The work by Stephane Bureaux, TCC1 and TCC2, for example, is inspired by the fact that it would be possible to create animal fibres for restaurants, like muscle and fat, in laboratories with stem cells. He then imagined that these new food products would be sold in packaging that resemble pharmaceuticals and not nourishment.
The project is supposed to be provocative, both conceptually and visually, and it was selected more for its artistic value than its practical value. However, reality isn’t that far removed from the projects TCC1 and TCC2.
Mutatoes by Uli Westphal examines the themes of the “aesthetic” standards of fruit and vegetable that are destined for mass distribution and I really enjoyed it.
A while ago, I saw an exhibition in Montreal that examined vegetable shapes, Journeys: How travelling fruit, ideas and buildings rearrange our environment. It revealed how produce can exist in many different forms in nature, but they are penalised by the market, which seeks to produce a single variant (editor’s note: the EU legislation allows for many non standard fruits and vegetables to be sold directly to consumers as long as they are labelled “intended for processing”).
This inevitably results in the loss of variety if not the complete disappearance of some species. There’s nothing strange about the shapes from Uli Westphal: it’s that what is normal appears monstrous in the eyes of the market.
The projects haven’t been chosen just for their purely aesthetic value, but because they manage to show where we are now, they are objective mirrors that reflect our present scenario.