Whose Language Does the Produce Speak?

This project is presented by Artists Alliance Inc., FoodCultura, and Institut Ramon Llull, in collaboration with the Center for Book Arts.

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Whose Language Does the Produce Speak? Conversations Between La Boqueria and Essex Street Market is the fruit of a two-year discussion involving Jodi Waynberg, Antoni Miralda, alfonso borragán, Laia Solé, and Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful, as well as Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space in New York, and FoodCultura in Barcelona. Both Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space and FoodCultura function within historic food markets—the Essex Street Market and La Boqueria—which are experiencing major identity shifts as result of the rapidly changing cities in which they exist. This project and its resulting exhibition in New York ask the participating artists to reflect on their creative practices and respond to this in connection to new food trends, waste and recycling, conspicuous consumption, urban development, and tourism and “touristification.” Similarly, it asks participating artists to use performance, film, photography, printmaking, and writing, as active platforms that can facilitate collaborations amongst them, vendors, and patrons; and even intimate rendezvous between the artists and the markets themselves. Some of the questions that emerge: Are these markets a dated version of the cities in which they operate, or do they stand as a counterforce against cultural erasure? Will the evolving markets continue to reflect their neighborhoods or become a simple tool for urban redevelopment; in which case, one can ask, whose language will the produce speak?

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