'O Castelo/Le Château' was a show by Various Artists curated by Catherine Bompuis.
The show at Galeria Luisa Strina ran from 16 January to 10 March 2012, and was dedicated to Hans Sonneveld, 1960-2011.
"Hunger is human made." (*)
"Since the emergence of industrial agriculture and the industrialization of our food, obesity and food-related diseases have become widespread. While millions of people are dying of hunger, it happens more and more that vast resources are mobilized, in countries where people do not have enough to eat, for crops earmarked for export". (VA)
A castle made out of biscuits was built in the Luisa Strina gallery using processed foods saturated with refined sugars and E-number food additives purchased in shops selling cheap food like “Doces Imperial”, “Largo dos Doces”, etc. These foods will have a long-term impact on the health of those who eat it either by necessity or by choice. These processed foods yield the highest profit margins and are the object of particularly aggressive advertising campaigns targeted at the public.
Le Château was a performative exhibition, that included an installation, a series of workshops, and an ongoing performance.
"Changing the way we eat will not change the world, but it may begin to change us, and then we can be part of changing the world." (**)
One of the VA, Morice de Lisle, does performances whose rules alter or limit the work of the other VA. De Lisle fasted for 34 days. He only drank water.
This performance was inspired by the Franz Kafka story “The Hunger Artist”, a metaphor for the artist and his condition, and constituted the basis of the project Le Château.
"In the last decades interest in hunger artists has declined considerably. Whereas in earlier days there was good money to be earned putting on major productions of this sort under one’s own management, nowadays that is totally impossible. Those were different times. Back then the hunger artist captured the attention of the entire city. From day to day while the fasting lasted, participation increased. Everyone wanted to see the hunger artist at least once a day. (...)” (***)
The state of abstinence physically weakens the artist/activist while simultaneously reinforcing his action mentally. This state will influence and modify the process of the installation as well as its presentation.
This act of passive resistance is traditionally a symbolic act used as a weapon in the political field. Transferred to an artistic context, it subverts its rules. The act also induces a critical reflection on the industrialization of our food and its impact on our health. This symbolic action is a political action aimed at the food-processing industry.
The Luisa Strina gallery became a stage. The Various Artists are fictive, but the action is real.
with Morice de Lisle, Lima Drib, Diederick Dewaere, Valereson da Silva, Christl Coppens, Martn Coppens, Marcella.B, Christl Coppens (by Elise Broekaert, Sophie Speck and Laura Caroen), Valereson da Silva (by Jesse Cremers), Marcella.B (by Elke Van Campenhout)
Technical team : Rubens Teixeira dos Santos and Jesse Cremers
Production assistant : Loes Jacobs
Team Galeria Luisa Strina : Ada Maria Hennel, Adailton Pires dos Santos, José Roberto da Silva and Sandro Machado Rodrigues
* Moore Lappe F., Diet for a Small Planet, New York 1991, p. xvii.
** Moore Lappe F., Diet for a Small Planet, New York 1991, p. 14.
*** *** Kafka F., The Hunger Artist, 1924, translation by Ian Johnston, Richer Resources Publications, Virginia 2011.