Serpentine Gallery 28 Jun — 27 Sep 2018 Free

Building on the Radical Kitchen: Recipes for Building Community and Creating Change programme launched in 2017, the Serpentine presented a second season of its lunchtime gatherings in the Serpentine Pavilion 2018, designed by the award-winning architect Frida Escobedo.

On selected Thursdays over the summer of 2018, 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 shared 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. 

Radical Kitchen 2018 brought together questions generated through two major research strands undertaken by Serpentine Projects. The ongoing Rights to the City programme addressed 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. 

Each lunchtime session focused on a different element or food item, tracing how ingredients such as sugar, grains and chili have shaped the globalised world, and how consumption, exchange, politics and economics determine – and are determined by – these elements. The talks were led by international guest artists and groups including Formafantasma and Ghetto Gastro, as well as individual artists with a long-standing involvement in Serpentine Projects, including Jasleen Kaur, Zinzi Miniott and Daniella Valz Gen. 

Mazí Mas, co-hosts of the inaugural Radical Kitchen in 2017, have inspired the Serpentine’s ongoing collaboration with social enterprises that work with food and migrant communities across London. Several of these organisations will provide bread and snacks at this year’s picnic talks, while Mazí Mas will return on 13 September.

RADICAL KITCHEN PROGRAMME 

Thursday 28 June, 1pm
Grain: Jasleen Kaur

Thursday 12 July, 1pm
Gold: Formafantasma, in conversation with Alice Rawsthorn

Thursday 19 July, 1pm
Chili: Fozia Ismail

Thursday 26 July, 1pm
Sugar: Zinzi Minott 

Thursday 9 August, 1pm
Mercury: Angus Cameron

Thursday 23 August, 1pm
Potato: Daniella Valz Gen 

Thursday 30 August, 1pm
Clay: Arabeschi di Latte (Francesca Sarti)

Thursday 6 September, 1pm
Fossils: Territorial Agency 

Thursday 13 September, 1pm
Rice: Mazí Mas

Thursday 20 September, 1pm
Yams: Ghetto Gastro

Thursday 27 September, 1pm 
Shell-fish: Cooking Sections

Radical Kitchen 2018 was a collaboration with Nicoletta Fiorucci, Founder of Fiorucci Art Trust, and is supported by Aesop.

"I think one needs to plan for change. Make everything more flexible in every way, so that the building becomes more like a palm tree and less like a completely rigid structure because that’s the one that will fall down. Rigid things collapse. The rest can move, yes, it transforms, it may lose sections, but its spirit will remain." Frida Escobedo in an interview with The Fabulist. On the occasion of the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion, the Serpentine partnered with Aesop to co-present a special issue of The Fabulist that explores the themes of the Serpentine’s summer season and celebrates Aesop’s support of Live Programmes at the Serpentine.

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