Friday, April 28, 2017

Ivan Capote's Words

Ever since he left the tobacco-producing region of Pinar del Río to study art at Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte, Iván Capote has been drawn to conceptualism and visual poetry. ‘During that time I started writing poems on an old typewriter and I became fascinated with the possible meanings a word could have just by changing a single letter,’ says Capote, whose text-based art took root with his 2003 sculpture Dislexia (Dyslexia), which was exhibited at this year’s Havana Biennial. The work was a kinetic sculpture that temporised the reading of an engraving in the bottom of a tray covered with dark industrial oil. To wit, a machine cut a line through the oil giving viewers a quick opportunity to read the sentence — LIFE IS A TEXT THAT WE LEARN TO READ TOO LATE — before the oil covered it again. ‘Language and poetry offer me so much freedom to express my ideas. A raft of new ideas have surfaced in Verbum (I), a solo show at the blue chip state-run Cuban exhibition space Galería Habana, where Capote and his art star younger brother Yoan conceived and exhibited a series of back-to-back shows, Fonemas y Morfemas, in 2011. Two of the works were shown in the Vedado studio that Capote shares with Yoan during this spring’s 2015 Biennal — Mantra occidental (Western Mantra), stainless steel letters O-W-N tacked to the wall holding lit incense sticks (a commercial play on the eastern meditative mantra of ‘om’) and No more words, a nearly full glass of water that contains the letters spelling out MENTIRA (lie), with an ‘S’ left to the side — multi-mendacities would force the glass to overflow. Capote is also exhibiting a series of recent and recurring paintings and sculptures, including No Rearview Mirror, a clock with the phrase ‘do not look back’ substituted for numbers; canvases covered in phrases like ‘Horror Vaccui’ and ‘Vacio (Emptiness)’, as well as a long link of chain that spells out ‘Deseo (Desire)’. 'The verbs express animus states, feelings, actions and aptitudes, and the whole exhibition comments about how art shares the capacity (with words) to freeze actions for external thought,’ says Capote, who is sending works to New York with Galería Habana for the Armory Show next March, and will participate in a group show in April at the Ludwig Forum in Koblenz, Germany. Though he plans to make more material-focused sculptures and paintings without texts for an upcoming solo show, he’ll continue to express his linguistic concepts in more ambitious formats as he did at Havana’s La Cabaña fortress this spring. Inside the 18th century fortification, Capote installed a wooden scaffolding that appeared to support the vaulted munitions space while spelling out the word FAITH. ‘This was an old idea that I had in my mind from the time of the breakdown of socialism in Europe, but I didn’t have the courage to present it to the public until this Biennal,’ says Capote. ‘It’s like a renewable reinforcement that calls our attention to keep the faith in the face of any kind of collapses we face in our lifetime.’ Wise words from an artist who has overcome many.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Marinetti’s rules for the perfect meal, first published in 1930 as the “Manifesto of Futurist Cuisine.”

Futurist cuisine and rules for the perfect lunch

1. An original harmony of the table (crystal ware, crockery and glassware, decoration) with the flavors and colors of the dishes.

2. Utter originality in the dishes.

3. The invention of flexible flavorful combinations (edible plastic complex), whose original harmony of form and color feeds the eyes and awakens the imagination before tempting the lips.

4. The abolition of knife and fork in favor of flexible combinations that can deliver prelabial tactile enjoyment.

5. The use of the art of perfumery to enhance taste. Each dish must be preceded by a perfume that will be removed from the table using fans.

6. A limited use of music in the intervals between one dish and the next, so as not to distract the sensitivity of the tongue and the palate and serves to eliminate the flavor enjoyed, restoring a clean slate for tasting.

7. Abolition of oratory and politics at the table.

8. Measured use of poetry and music as unexpected ingredients to awaken the flavors of a given dish with their sensual intensity.

9. Rapid presentation between one dish and the next, before the nostrils and the eyes of the dinner guests, of the few dishes that they will eat, and others that they will not, to facilitate curiosity, surprise, and imagination.

10. The creation of simultaneous and changing morsels that contain ten, twenty flavors to be tasted in a few moments. These morsels will also serve the analog function […] of summarizing an entire area of life, the course of a love affair, or an entire voyage to the Far East.

11. A supply of scientific tools in the kitchen: ozone machines that will impart the scent of ozone to liquids and dishes; lamps to emit ultraviolet rays; electrolyzers to decompose extracted juices etc. in order to use a known product to achieve a new product with new properties; colloidal mills that can be used to pulverize flours, dried fruit and nuts, spices, etc.; distilling devices using ordinary pressure or a vacuum, centrifuge autoclaves, dialysis machines. The use of this equipment must be scientific, avoiding the error of allowing dishes to cook in steam pressure cookers, which leads to the destruction of active substances (vitamins, etc.) due to the high temperatures. Chemical indicators will check if the sauce is acidic or basic and will serve to correct any errors that may occur: lack of salt, too much vinegar, too much pepper, too sweet.”

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