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Mart Rovereto: Showing Food Design in Italy
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Mart Rovereto: Showing Food Design in Italy

Over the years, the MART (Museum of Modern Art of Rovereto and Trento) has become a reference point for lovers of modern and contemporary art in Italy

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Among many of the special exhibitions proposed for the museum’s 10th Anniversary is one entitled, Food Project: The Shape of Taste”. Curated by the photographer Beppe Finessi, he directs his gaze at the global connections between art, design, food, and cuisine. The debate around food has reached unheard of levels over the recent years – involving the wider public as well as the design world, which often records and even anticipates cultural, esthetic and socio-economic trends.

Designers worldwide have recently been paying a lot of attention to nutrition, treating the subject with creativity, curiosity and innovation. The blending of different languages – from experimental design to pure creativity – opens a path to the exhibition by paying tribute to the book “Good Design” by Bruno Munari. Published fifty years ago, Munari’s book showed readers how to “read” natural products (in this case, an orange), as if they were design objects, and used his irony and authority to highlight their “functional and useful” characteristics. Following this are various kinds of pasta “designed” by talents like Giorgetto Giugiaro and Christian Ragot, who explain how the creativity of designers has been blending with industrial production since the beginning of the last century.

Today food designers are enjoying virtually limitless possibilities in their ability to modulate shapes and functions, bringing to life objects like the edible pen by Marti Guixè or the sugar spoon by Marije Vogelzag. The exhibition is divided into three main themes, with a special emphasis on irony in the “Humor and Metaphor” area, which uses products out of context like the gelatin mold by Bompass & Parr in the shape of London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral or Buckingham Palace. Shark-fin shaped cookies by Balbo & Signori float in cups, creating suspenseful moment at breakfast, while the chocolate mustache by Diego Ramos serves to both decorate and hide the face before eating.

The section “Allude to Food” hosts works that range from contemporary art and design: highlights include “N°2 Candy Sunglasses” by Bless, which employs a new language that hovers between fashion and design with a pair of glasses whose earpieces are made from caramelized sugar; “VegetablesScholten & Baijings feature hyper-realistic cushions that are, but for their oversized proportions, almost indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts; the edible fabrics by Marjolein Wintjes are made into swaths and clothing with the flavors of strawberry, fennel and celery.

Along with the exhibition, which is chock full of events, workshops and conferences, there are several appearances by famous Italian chefs who conduct  “show-cooking” classes in the museum’s galleries. Visitors will be treated to tastings afterwards. Among the world-class chefs who are participating in the project are Gualtiero Marchesi, Davide Scabin, Claudio Sadler, Roberto Valbuzzi, Bruno Barbieri, Moreno Cedroni and Felice Lo Basso. The exhibition Project Food will be at MART until June 2nd.

To reserve a place at one of the exhibition’s special events, go to the museum’s website.

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