Building on the Radical Kitchen: Recipes for Building Community and Creating Change programme launched in 2017, Serpentine presented a second season of its lunchtime gatherings in the Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Frida Escobedo. On Thursday 27 September, spatial practitioners Cooking Sections reflected on shellfish.
On selected Thursdays over the summer, artists, activists and researchers gathered with the public to consider different global foodstuffs and elements – their stories, their movements and their relationship to time, empire and landscape. Visitors were invited to share food and reflect on empire, geological time, exchange and decolonisation, themes inspired by Escobedo’s design, which drew on the domestic architecture of her native Mexico and British materials and context, specifically the Prime Meridian line at the Royal Observatory.
Each lunchtime session focused on a different element or food item, tracing how ingredients such as sugar, grains and chilli have shaped the globalised world and how consumption, exchange, politics and economics determine – and are determined by – these elements.
Radical Kitchen 2018 brought together questions generated through two major research strands undertaken by Serpentine Projects. The ongoing Rights to the City programme addresses housing rights, racial discrimination, privatisation of public space and the politics of care. Launching in 2018, General Ecology marks the Serpentine Galleries’ commitment to addressing questions around ecology, complexity, organisation and climate change.
Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe) is a duo of spatial practitioners based in London. It was born to explore the systems that organise the WORLD through FOOD. Using installation, performance, mapping and video, their research-based practice explores the overlapping boundaries between visual arts, architecture and geopolitics. Cooking Sections was part of the exhibition at the US Pavilion, 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Their work has also been exhibited at Performa17; 13th Sharjah Biennial; Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin; Storefront for Art & Architecture New York; CA2M, Madrid; The New Institute, Rotterdam; Manifetsa12, Palermo; HKW Berlin; Lafayette Anticipations, Paris; among others. They have been residents in The Politics of Food at Delfina Foundation, London, and Headlands Center for the Arts. The duo were part of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale and 2016 Brussels ParckDesign. Their work has been featured in a number of international publications (Lars Müller, Sternberg Press, Volume, and Frieze Magazine). The Empire Remains Shop is published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City–Columbia University Press. They currently lead a studio unit at the Royal College of Art, London.
Radical Kitchen 2018 was a collaboration with Nicoletta Fiorucci, Founder of Fiorucci Art Trust, and was supported by Aesop.