For Show in Parma


Until January 6 Parma is hosting Foodscapes—Art & Gastronomy, a lively province-wide show on food in the contemporary arts. The main event is GNAM, an onomatopoeic take on chewing that stands for Gastronomia nell'arte moderna, at the ex Cinema Trento. GNAM features foodie art by internationally famous names like Marina Abramovic, Wim Delvoye, Erro, Gilbert & George, Omar Galliani, Hermann Nitsch, and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Dennis Oppenheim set up an installation ex novo in Piazzale della Pace. Then there's an exhibit called Paper Plates, using graphics and advertising, design and architecture, painting and photography to illustrate patterns in food consumerism. Two photo shows never before seen in Italy are part of the mix: Celia A. Shapiro's Last Supper and Peter Menzel's Hungry Planet. The first is a symbolic reflection on the last meal chosen by death-row inmates in U.S. prisons. It's displayed in the small chapel of the Oratory of Sant'Ilario, a reflection in itself on Italy's abhorrence for capital punishment. The second is photo reportage that illuminates 5 continents, 24 and the eating habits of many different cultures.

The gastronomic adventure also includes film, music, literature and theatre. "The act of eating seems to be more cultural than biological; more metaphysical than physical; more metaphorical than real," says Lorand Hegyi, the curator of Foodscapes. "While it is basically necessary for life, while it is itself life, while it forms part of the basic essential human activities, the act of eating is one of the most powerful and complex human occupations."

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