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 23 August, artist Daniella Valz Gen addressed the potato.
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 draws 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.
Daniella Valz Gen is an artist and writer born in Lima and based in London. Her practice spans installation, text and live performance, both as independent outputs and combined, through collaborative and solo projects. Recent projects include: From a Creative Case to an Ecology of Care, an ongoing collaboration with Jade Montserrat; and Colaborar is The Name of the Game, a collaboration with Sin Fronteras, hosted by LAWRS (Latin American Women’s Rights Services). Her first collection of poems, Subversive Economies, was published in May 2018 by PSS Press. Valz Gen is a participant in the upcoming Whitstable Biennial 2018.
Valz Gen is currently artist-in-residence with Serpentine Projects’ Writing the City.
Radical Kitchen 2018 is a collaboration with Nicoletta Fiorucci, Founder of Fiorucci Art Trust, and is supported by Aesop.