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Martha Rosler in Art & Foods at the Triennale di Milano

Located in both the indoor and outdoor areas of La Triennale – 7000 square metres of building and garden space – Arts & Foods will focus on all those visual, sculptural, object-based and environmental forms that, ever since 1851, the year of the first Expo in London, have revolved around the world of food, nutrition, and dining together. The exhibition will provide a worldwide overview of the interaction between aesthetics and design in the rituals of eating, as an international event that will use different media to take visitors through time, from the historic to the contemporary, and through forms of expression, creativity and communication in all cultural areas.

Curated by Germano Celant and with the display design by Studio Italo Rota, Arts & Foods will use a multi-level, multi-sensorial approach to examine the developments and solutions adopted with regard to food. It will range from kitchen implements to laid tables and picnics, and public aspects in the form of bars and restaurants. It will also examine the changes brought about in road, air and space travel, as well as the design of buildings devoted to the rituals and production of food. All of this will be accompanied by the testimony of artists, writers, film makers, graphic designers, musicians, photographers, architects and designers who, from Impressionism and Divisionism to the historical avant-garde movements, and from Pop Art to the latest artistic research, have helped develop the vision and consumption of food.

This journey through artefacts and time will offer a creative reflection on “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, the theme of the World Expo in Milan, with hundreds and hundreds of books, objects and documents from museums, public and private institutions, collectors and artists around the world.

“La Triennale di Milano is the only Italian institution with a multidisciplinary approach to the visual and applied arts,” said Claudio De Albertis, President of La Triennale. “It was thus only natural to accept the proposal of the Expo to put on the Arts & Foods exhibition as well as the eighth edition of the Triennale Design Museum, devoted to such an essential subject as that of the Expo. So, with Silvana Annichiarico, the director of the Triennale Design Museum, we asked Germano Celant and Italo Rota to create and design Body Snatchers in the Kitchen. We are confident that we shall achieve excellent results all round.”

Arts & Foods involves all media and art forms: from painting to sculpture, video, installation, photography and advertising, to design and architecture, movies, music and literature,” said Germano Celant, curator of the pavilion. “It is in chronological order, covering the period from 1851 – the date of the first Expo, in London, and the starting point of modernity – through to the present day, with environments illustrating the spaces for eating together, in both the private and the public domain, from the dining room to the kitchen, and from cafés to eating on the move, in which furniture, objects, household appliances and works of art create a narrative of great visual and sensorial impact.