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Cereals and Tubers: Old and New Crops



cereali e tuberi

Cereals and Tubers

Although cereals and tubers are the most common crops worldwide, few people know how they are produced. This pavilion aims to provide the necessary explanations. Visitors are greeted by an ensemble of colors, textures, and scents that escort them on their exploration of how cereals and tubers are grown. Like a river, this journey winds its way through the pavilions of the various member countries, finally flowing out into a great canopied space that hosts events and offers refreshments.
Bread of the world: Joel Meyerowitz 
"When I was given the Cereals Pavilion and saw how the space was designed I decided to create a series of columns (or totems) to develop the theme and work in the space. My idea was that these columns would be seen as symbols of the various grains that will be growing along the path the visitors walk on as they make their way toward the Open Plaza. I decided to make portraits of Bread from all over Italy, and use them to create vertical columns symbolic of the ‘staff of life.’ I built a black, corner-like space, to photograph the breads, which suggests the ovens that bread is baked in. The black, corner angle, also offers a sense of a deep space while actually being a flat background. This illusion of depth, seen on a 3 sided column, will add an additional visual dimension to the overall space of the triangular columns. At the same time I thought that the breads in their spaces could be seen as if in a “wunderkabinet,” where we can see a collection of many varieties of the same thing. Each face of the column has a different approach to showing the character of the breads. The first face is simply bread alone. The second face is the “elemental” column, where the bottom bread sits on Tuscan earth, and the top bread is photographed against the sky. The third face shows each bread in relation to an odd object which supports or acts with the forms of the bread to make an interesting pairing. Finally, I would like to use the installation of the 3 columns on the piazza to create a powerful force field, or zone, into which the visitors would enter through narrow openings (2 meters wide) and experience both the closeness of the space, and the other people in it with them. I think this might create a sensation that imitates the closeness of grasses as they grow in the field".
Joel Meyerowitz  bollo img

Joel Meyerowitz

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Joel Meyerowitz is an award-winning photographer whose work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. He was born in New York in 1938. He began photographing in 1962. He is a “street photographer” in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank, although he now works exclusively in color. As an early advocate of color photography (mid-60’s), Meyerowitz was instrumental in changing the attitude toward the use of color photography from one of resistance to nearly universal acceptance. His first book, "Cape Light", is considered a classic work of color photography and has sold more than 150,000 copies during its 30-year life. He is the author of 20 other books, including "Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks" (Aperture), and his 50 year retrospective book, "Taking My Time", was published by Phaidon Press in 2013.

EXHIBITION CONTENT: Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR: Francesco Bonomi, Claudio Gandolfi, and Gian Vincenzo
PROJECT COORDINATOR: Ambrogina Pagani, and Guido Sali
CONCEPT AND EXHIBITION LAYOUT: Franco Tagliabue, Alessandro Rocca,
Maria Feller, and Marta Geroldi
TOTAL AREA: 3,820 sqm
COMMON AREA: 2,455 sqm
EVENTS AREA: 290 sqm
The Cluster Structure

Visitors can move in the space between the pavilions, letting themselves be gently drawn along by the different examples of land cultivation. The canopy of the building takes the shape of a chimney and hosts an area for events and the distribution of themed culinary specialties.

Having finished their tour of this exhibition area, visitors can take part in a number of activities, or just sit and relax, enjoying the traditional dishes of the countries exhibiting in this cluster.

The seeds of civilization

Cultivated, exported and sold for thousands of years, cereals and tubers have fostered contact between civilizations, and have provided sustenance to huge numbers of people around the world. Cereals are the staple diet of the majority of the world’s population. Not only are they nutritious, but they are inexpensive, and are quick and easy to digest.

Despite there being over 10,000 varieties of cereals and tubers, just a few have continued to be cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Many of these hitherto neglected varieties could help address important global challenges, such as sustainable growth, and the use of land unsuited to maize, rice, and wheat, for example. As a result, they could help satisfy demand for food, which is set to increase in the coming decades. Roots and tubers are now the second most important source of carbohydrates after cereals. Containing many minerals and vitamins, they are a basic food for many people in emerging countries.
UN's presence in the Cereals and Tubers Cluster
Five cereal crops – rice, wheat, maize, millet and sorghum - provide 60% of the world's dietary energy intake. Root and tuber crops are a staple foods and the main source of calories for an estimated 700 million poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
These statistics alone demonstrate the central role that cereals and tubers play in food security and, at the same time, the need to nurture conservation and promote the use of sustainable biodiversity to ensure that agriculture systems continue to evolve and meet the needs of future generations. One of the 18 UN Spaces that make up the UN Itinerary is located in the Cereal and Tubers Cluster and is dedicated to these topics.

The UN is present with 18 multimedia installations, easily recognizable by their giant blue spoons. These UN Spaces are located in various areas of the site along the itinerary dedicated to the theme “The Zero Hunger Challenge • United for a sustainable world”.
Farine Varvello

Farine Varvello / Official Sponsor

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