September 11, 2010 - Stroom Den Haag - Foodprint: Raul Ortega Ayala ‘Living Remains’
September 11, 2010

Foodprint: Raul Ortega Ayala ‘Living Remains’

Raul Ortega Ayala, “Living Remains,” 2010

Foodprint:
Raul Ortega Ayala ‘Living Remains’

11 September – 7 November 2010

Hogewal 1-9
2514 HA The Hague
The Netherlands
T +31-70 3658985
info [​at​] stroom.nl
Opening hours:
Wednesday-Sunday 12-5 pm

www.stroom.nl

Stroom Den Haag presents ‘Living Remains’, the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands of the Mexican artist Raul Ortega Ayala. Including performances, videos, texts and objects, the exhibition explores food beyond bodily sustenance, investigating its intrinsic significance in life’s rituals and cycles, its role in religion and culture, as well as its interconnections with our emotions and psychologies.

The opening of the exhibition on September 11 features the performance ‘Melting Pots’, for which Ortega Ayala recreates a buffet that was served in the Twin Towers’ famous restaurant, Windows on the World, in New York. He serves food on kitchenware that was possibly made from the recycled metal debris of the towers, investigating the paradoxical cycle to which these remains were subjected. The artist leaves the remains of this performance and those of ‘The Last Supper’ (a re-creation, a week prior to the opening, of the ‘original’ meal as allegedly experienced by the Twelve Apostles) in the gallery to decompose slowly throughout the course of the exhibition.

The exhibition also includes the new video work ‘Tomatina / Tim’, in which the behaviour of Tomatina festival goers in Spain is paired with an American professional competitive eater, exploring issues of decadence, abundance and excess. Ortega Ayala interprets these phenomena as involuntary metaphors of our times. Other works in the exhibition include a cheese made from mother’s milk, ‘Obituary Menus’ and a replica of Pieter Bruegel’s The Tower of Babel made from fat, which will slowly melt during the course of the exhibition.

Raul Ortega Ayala (1973, Mexico) received an MFA from the Glasgow School of Arts and Hunter College in New York. The methods he uses in his practice resemble the work of an ethnographer. Immersing himself as a ‘participant observer’ in environments such as those connected with food, gardening, office work and most recently statistics, he then uses the materials and experiences resulting from these immersions to produce a group of works which he calls ‘souvenirs’.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive lineup of Foodprint events. Foodprint is a program which focuses on the influence food can have on the culture, shape and functioning of the city. Check: www.stroom.nl for more information.

Special thanks: Mondriaan Foundation and the Embassy of Mexico in The Netherlands.

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