Cooking the World, 2017

Basel 2017
Galleria Continua, Hauser & Wirth
found aluminum utensils, monofilament line, steel
In an age of migration and displacement complemented by a rising intolerance of the Other, Subodh Gupta’s work on the rituals and symbolism of food consumption and preparation has gathered increasing significance. In Western cultures, the notion of gathering around the dinner table indicates a sense of familial bond and intimacy in the practice of sharing a meal, a custom even more pronounced in contemporary and ancient Indian communities alike. The diversity of religious and cultural groups in India is matched by a range of dietary restrictions and regional culinary specialties. Offering to share a meal acts as the strongest indicator of inclusion and acceptance into a community. This installation is accompanied by a cooking and eating performance, in which food will be prepared by the artist and consumed by the ‘viewer’. Used aluminum utensils hanging delicately from transparent fishing lines create the porous, textured shelter for the performance. These worn vessels, discarded by their previous users, bear witness to individual histories and narratives of past utility. Together, the utensils enclose a new collective ritual space, alluding both to subjectively lived fates and to communal cosmological destinies.