On artistic activity and its connection with the field of gastronomy and/or restoration (not forgetting Leonardo and his Florentine tavern Delle Tre Lumache, his inventions and activities as master of parties and banquets for the Sforza family), we highlight Daniel Spoerri, Gordon Matta-Clark and Antoni Miralda, the work of Paco Cao and the gigantic performances of Tiravanija.
The three restoration projects by Spoerri, Matta-Clark and Miralda between the late 1960s and mid-1980s, the first in Düsseldorf and the others in Soho and Tribeca in New York, revisited the tradition of spaces where bourgeois culture developed, where artistic themes were discussed around food and drink.
In Dusseldorf, Spoerri also worked as cook and programmer for the adjacent gallery; in New York, Miralda pioneered the promotion of Spanish cuisine for clients such as Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, while Matta-Clark hired a guest artist to create the menu every day. More recently we have the cases of the restaurants opened in France at Palais de Tokyo and Mac/Val by art historian and critic Gilles Stassart (interviewed this year by Expresso at Bulthaup Amoreiras), The Pharmacy in London, a venture by Matthew Freud and Damien Hirst, as well as Larry Gagosian’s collaboration with Japanese chef Masayoshi Takayama at Kappo Masa in New York or the successful Matador Club in Madrid, which attracts art collectors and gastrophiles every day. In Portugal, we have some activities such as the Triennale o Alentejo, 2013/2014, Mar e Montanha, from 2015/2016, and Fazer render o Peixe. from 2016/2017.
These projects, based on a curatorial and idiosyncratic production team that includes members from the field of political communication and cinema, as well as journalism and gastronomic criticism, have been organized as artistic residency programs in Portugal outside the major urban centers, inviting cultural agents to settle in regions with very marked characteristics, in a reflection process closely linked to endogenous production in which agriculture and gastronomy have been of growing relevance. The Triennial, which highlighted the performance of the 500 Grandmothers Lunch by Tatsumi Orimoto (member of the Fluxus group and former collaborator of Nam June Paik) at the Convent of São Bento de Cástris in Évora, a community feast around Alentejo cuisine and gender issues, with the collaboration of chef Pedro Mendes (also responsible for the Matador Club dinner at bulthaup Chiado in May 2016, under the ARCO VIP program) gave rise to the special edition of a wine of the Pierre Gonnor brand. The Sea and Mountain was organized around pairs of artists and chefs, in which the chef was also the guide in the region where the products were researched and selected.
Each artist was assigned a key ingredient: fleur de sel, almond, tuna, octopus, carob… Mónica Bengoa worked with sweet potato, Eugenio Ampudia with barnacles, Miki Leal with fig… Neuner, Ricardo Costa or Leonel Pereira collaborated in the kitchen with artists to create videos, ceramics, surgical glassware, and new recipes. In the final cycle, artistic and gastronomic projects were presented simultaneously: Miki Leal and Beatriz Lobo worked with Galician chef Fernando Agrasar, and Gilles Stassart joined Doug Fitch, after the latter’s collaboration with Antoine Westermann in the creation of Le Coq Rico in New York.
All within a gastronomic spirit very much in line with the bulthaup philosophy, thus demonstrating, as Cristina Giménez pointed out, that gastronomy is one of the cultural fields where creativity reaches the highest levels of innovation and excellence.