The exhibition ‘consuming the opposite’ highlights diaspora politics by way of the lens of meals

At Preston Gallery in Cambridge, Canada, consuming the opposite was offered as a set of ruminations on meals and identification as an entry-point into the racialisation of our bodies. In her curatorial essay, Noor Bhangu speaks in regards to the cannibalisation of racial distinction that takes form as a type of dominance and extraction, to serve white supremacist inhibitions. Right here, 4 visible artists—Molly JF Caldwell, Rajyashri Goody, Gabrielle Paré, Alize Zorlutuna—had been introduced collectively to provoke a dialogue about belonging, subjectivity and racial violence, the place the axis level turns into that of diaspora populations in western nations.

By an essayistic framework that takes kind by way of the exhibition of works, Bhangu refers to a bell hooks piece that speaks from private expertise of overhearing white male faculty college students speaking about girls and their our bodies by way of the lens of race, the place sexual impulse or additional, intercourse, capabilities as a manner of cannibalising distinction. In dialog with STIR, the curator speaks in regards to the ‘cannibalistic impulse’ and thru this particular instance from hooks, the “want to digest or eat distinction by way of sexual activity.” Consuming, nourishment, digestion change into wealthy metaphors to attract upon and formulate a political discourse of resisting the method of ‘othering’ by way of claiming the area of such. Within the curator’s phrases, meals turns into a metaphor for the opposite’s flesh, the place the dominant race will get near understanding the opposite by way of imported spices and flavours, with out doing the thought of labour—required to bridge the hole.

The exhibition ‘consuming the opposite’ highlights diaspora politics by way of the lens of meals
Leaving the desk, 2019, Carpets gathered from the artist’s neighborhood, staghorn sumac, Turkish sumac, coriander, poppy seeds, tobacco, white pine, white oak mud, cumin seeds, cloves and black tea, Alize Zorlutuna Picture: Courtesy of Noor Bhangu and Preston Gallery, Canada

Rejecting the institutionalised area of the artwork gallery as white dice, because it has come to be popularly identified, the curation of the exhibition area displays the differential politics of the artwork varieties which can be acceptable inside such areas. The works offered range from studio practices that inhabit formalist and tutorial notions of institutionalised kind and embody fermentations, booklets of resistance literature, deconstructed books and put in carpet seating to ask new allyships. Talking in regards to the white-washed nature of the white dice, Bhangu tells STIR, “The affective world that the white dice creates may be very current in our minds. And so, I wished to make use of a number of color within the gallery to contest that. I wished to offer a distinct body to the works on show. I chosen turmeric, inexperienced and blue to play with concepts round authenticity and tradition versus nature. Turmeric is one thing I’ve grown up with and type of romanticise as an emblem of misplaced origins. Inexperienced talks about what we see as pure, together with blue.”

Portrait of the curator, Noor Bhangu | eating the other | Noor Bhangu | STIRworld
Portrait of the curator, Noor Bhangu Picture: Courtesy of Noor Bhangu

Alize Zorlutuna presents a constellation of artworks in dialog with each other, the place there are cases of processing meals, churning, distillation and preservation. Bhangu mentions the latter as being an essential a part of the queer artist’s apply, that entails gathering materials together with these supplied by family and friends. One photographic picture paperwork the making of a tomato puree, in video the home sphere of the kitchen is referenced the place their mom is documented making dolma, a cultural specificity. Ready, longing, and time are intertwined on this brewing of solidarity by way of cultural nuance. Nourishment, shared histories, preservation of tradition, and moral consumption flip the dialog in the direction of that of community-building. However, Leaving the desk, which is an set up of an ornate Turkish rug and private gadgets, sought to ask conversations, activated by way of the artist’s invitation in September 2022, once they welcomed exhibition goers with tea. One other constellation of works inside the overarching show of Zorlutuna’s work are cabinets with jars of preserved oil and different substances. Time turns into a relentless participant.

Detail view of Diggin’ ‘round the root i-iii by Gabrielle Paré at Preston Gallery | eating the other | Noor Bhangu | STIRworld
Element view of Diggin’ ‘spherical the foundation i-iii by Gabrielle Paré at Preston Gallery Picture: Courtesy of Noor Bhangu and Preston Gallery, Canada

Gabrielle Paré presents a sequence of cut-paper compositions titled Diggin’ ‘spherical the foundation i-iii that happen as a ‘mining’ for misplaced histories and labour, commenting on the diasporic situation. The digging being referenced could be seen by way of the semi-performative motion of layered paper that’s being lower by way of, seeking to the Filipino plant Atswete that has medicinal properties, its historic use, and indigeneity. A set of wrappers from the Filipino spice model Mama Sita are a further factor, the place the collected materials comprises info on import and the routes that the spice itself travels by way of on the earth, a stand-in for the diaspora. In dialog with STIR, Bhangu right here, refers to a brand new sort of world constructing that the diaspora imaginary produces, by way of its distinctive positionality.

Additional, Molly JF Caldwell’s The Veil is an artwork set up of a pearl necklace restitched by the artist, with layers of meals gadgets which can be white within the Asian neighborhood, equivalent to rice, tofu, MSG, referring to ‘whiteness’, on prime of which a veil lies. The coded nature of meals and its racialisation is enacted upon by racist backlash in opposition to Asians throughout Covid. The sew that recreates the necklace, ties collectively the racialised previous and current of diasporic actuality.

Exhibition view of The Veil by Molly JF Caldwell at Preston Gallery | eating the other | Noor Bhangu | STIRworld
Exhibition view of The Veil by Molly JF Caldwell at Preston Gallery Picture: Courtesy of Noor Bhangu and Preston Gallery, Canada

Deviating from diaspora identification and politics, Bhangu additionally brings in Rajyashri Goody’s work that entails the digestion of Dalit histories and political fervour that arises from radical literature inside the neighborhood. Dalit identification is predicated on the Hindu caste system, the place traditionally oppressor caste communities proceed to perpetuate violence on the Dalit neighborhood on the premise of social indoctrination. Writing Recipes, which finds its roots on this historical past, has been staged throughout many iterations and areas the world over and continues to be a pertinent and affective mission, the place the artist presents poetic responses to the food-based segregation and violence skilled inside the neighborhood, and exudes the resistance that may be met with by way of historicising sustenance and survival. Usually accompanied with a set of familial, joyous images from her circle of relatives albums, Goody’s photographs are purposefully absent, the place the curator speaks in regards to the racialisation of our bodies on sight, earlier than even selecting up the e-book. The cannibalisation of cultures is as soon as once more referred to right here, and the sensorial is most popular over different consumption.

Exhibition view of Writing Recipes by Rajyashri Goody at Preston Gallery | eating the other | Noor Bhangu | STIRworld
Exhibition view of Writing Recipes by Rajyashri Goody at Preston Gallery Picture: Courtesy of Noor Bhangu and Preston Gallery, Canada

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