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Arts & Foods. Rituals since 1851

Arts & Foods
Arts & Foods. Rituals since 1851 is an exhibition curated by Germano Celant, held at the Triennale in Milan from April 9 to November 1, 2015 Under the architectural direction of Studio Italo Rota, visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves physically in a spectacular route where works of art, drawings and architectural models, films, objects, documents, books, menus, and album covers bring to life a narrative that set works and images in their own historical, sociological and anthropological context.
With the Expo Milano 2015 entrance ticket you can visit the Arts & Foods exhibition at the Milan Triennale for free.
Arts & Foods. Rituals since 1851: the chronological itinerary

The itinerary follows the topic of food though its preparation, distribution and sharing, in both the private and public spheres. More than 15 spaces host the exhibition dedicated to the places of food and its representation in paintings, furniture, objects, sculptures, appliances, photographs, menus, books and record covers.

Germano Celant’s View of Arts & Foods
What does it talk about?
In the interior and exterior spaces of the Triennale - about 7,000 square meters, comprising building and garden - Arts & Foods focuses on the plurality of visual language ​​and models, as objects and environmental representations that since 1851, the year of the first Expo in London, have to date revolved around food, nutrition and eating together. It is a global panorama of the interwoven aesthetics and design of eating rituals. It is also an international exhibition that uses a variety of media to offer a view across time, from the historical to the contemporary, of all levels of expression, creativity and communication from all areas of culture.
Three reasons to visit ...
  • Offering a layered and multi-sensorial perspective, Arts & Foods, against a backdrop created by Studio Italo Rota, looks to document developments and solutions that relate to food, ranging from kitchen utensils to the dining table and the picnic; from the public aspect of bars and restaurants to the changes that have characterized travel by road, plane and space, to the design and look of buildings dedicated to food production and to food rituals.
  • Arts & Foods offers an exploration of the special bond between the visual arts and the topic of food and of eating together in positive terms, both to reveal rituals and specificity, and to emphasize any idiosyncrasies or problematic areas.
  • The exhibition is enriched with masterpieces on loan from museums and public and private institutions, and from collectors and artists of international renown.
What vision of the future does it offer?
The project encompasses moments and themes of the rupture and progress that the arts offer as a reading of the history and evolution of food and nutrition. Set in a wide-ranging scenario it traces areas of continuous crossover and contact between the visual arts and various segments of the industrial arts and mass culture. Examples range from the patented imports of new foods of the Western world, presented and shared through Universal Expositions, to the representation of products in the art of the 1960s, with the advent of mass advertising and packaging, arriving at the use of new technologies in both architecture and design, and in the art world. The exhibition sets out to show the future of the documented periods and futuristic nature of discoveries related to food and eating together, and their effect on all the arts, exploring new opportunities for analysis and reflection.
What interpretation of the Theme does it offer?
Arts & Foods is organized in chronological order, starting from 1851 up to current times, interweaving testimonies of artists, writers, filmmakers, graphic designers, musicians, photographers, architects and designers. They range from Impressionism and Pointillism to historic Avant-Garde movements, from Pop Art to the most recent findings, all contributing to how we envision and consume food. It is a collection and a journey through time that creatively reflects the theme of the Universal Exposition in Milan, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, through hundreds of books, articles and documents from museums and public and private institutions, and from collectors and artists from all over the world.
Where does it seek its inspiration?
The presence of food, places for eating together and nourishment, have always been a feature of the history of art. In art, food takes on a "representative" value, which in other words, represents something else beyond ourselves. Thus the images of food can represent "otherness," in terms both of rituals and symbols. The exhibition aims to explore these themes with a 360-degree vision of language ​​and with a view to being as comprehensive as possible.
How does it communicate with visitors?
The presence of Arts & Foods at the Triennale, set in the center of the City’s urban fabric, and the connection with Expo Milano 2015 represents an opportunity to bring creativity into close contact with a wide audience. It also characterizes the environment, aiming to be an impetus for new "synapses" in the network of collective intelligence that will run through the Expo and give it life. It is a powerful vehicle for reinterpretations, for building meaning and identity, bringing historical narrative to the contemporary, allowing the public a means of recognition and self- recognition.
Arman, Artériosclérose,1961 Image courtesy of the Arman Studio Archives New York
© foto Giovanni Gastel
Read the profile of Germano Celant

Read the profile of Germano Celant

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Germano Celant, historian, art critic and theorist has managed hundreds of exhibitions around the world and published over a hundred books and catalogs. Director of the Fondazione Prada in Milan since 1995, Celant is also curator of the Fondazione Aldo Rossi in Milan, curator of the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova in Venice. He was Senior Curator of the Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York from 1989 to 2008; Artistic Director of the first Florence Biennale in 1996; Director of the 47th Venice Biennale in 1997; Artistic Supervisor of Genova 2004 - European Capital of Culture, as well as many other exhibitions. As a long-standing contributing editor of "Artforum" and "Interview", Celant regularly collaborates with "L’Espresso" and "Interni". In 1987, he was awarded the Frank Jewett Mather Award, the highest recognition in America made to art critics, and in 2013 was awarded The Agnes Gund Curatorial Award by Independent Curators International.
La Triennale di Milano

La Triennale di Milano

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La Triennale di Milano, established in Monza in 1923 as the Biennial of decorative arts since 1933 and housed in the Palazzo dell'Arte in Milan, was designed by Giovanni Muzio and built between the autumn of 1931 and the spring of 1933. Conceived by the designer to be an extremely flexible container, it is a multi-purpose organization that was highly innovative for the era in which it was designed. Born as a panorama of modern decorative and industrial arts, with the intention of stimulating relations between industry, manufacturing sectors and applied arts, La Triennale di Milano soon proved to be the mirror of Italy's artistic and architectural culture and a major sites for reflecting on emerging trends. La Triennale di Milano is Italy's institution for architecture, decorative and visual arts, design, fashion and audiovisual production. It is also a center of cultural production that hosts conferences, film festivals, exhibitions and roadshows.

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