Prometheus_Open Food Lab

Gianluca D’Inca Levis is the curator of Dolomiti Contemporanee.

an idea for curating from several conversations with Gianluca D’Inca Levis.

Food is a cultural thing, therefore is not natural. Eating is natural, edibles come from nature but the food is not. In this mental processing of the elements of my research, that goes the reactivate the deep meaning of the words I entered an intense dialogue with my main partner. An informal dialogue to be precise, not even meant to be one, probably. As it happens when people know each other while already discussing their works. In short and intense meetings. I have always considered food to be close to art; gastronomy to be the most complete of the arts. It stimulates the five senses in one, total experience. It combines memories and dreams. A recipe is not natural, neither it is curating. These some of the words of Gianluca that gave shape to my idea of curating. Because curating is the obvious thing to do when dealing with food, knowledge and eventually the work of other people. The same structure of the explorations is borrowed from the artistic practice. The explorers are artists in residence. Even if they are not artists, but artists are those who change the definitions of things. Gianluca, again. We wander in the woods covered by the snow, on the frozen peripheries of the perception to change the definition of things. Our work is aimed to transform what is commonly called herb, that some call in Latin, into food. We change the perception from something not better defined for the most into something they can eat, and have pleasure from. If this is art then, in opposition to Nature which is self-sufficient it needs to be curated, to be given an order. If we were interested in Nature we would not need to be here, what matter is the artifice1. That is what we are here for, and what we make is an artefact. Moreover, the artist as the scientist does not think that anything that happens naturally needs to stay like it is. The curator is who practise the act of curating, which eventually is to care. If Nature fails is it still natural? Of course, but it does not mean we need to step back and watch. Humans as any other animal change Nature constantly. It is the work of the artist to change it and give to it new meanings. The story of Gianluca and Cristopher, the young deer, is the manifesto of his entire practice. He found it dying and abandoned in his backyard. He raised it as wild as possible becoming its mother deer and eventually reintegrate it in a pack. To let it die would have been natural, but that morning Nature had failed. In any case, it would have been a choice, he chose to act as a curator, to change the meaning of that morning for the young creature. To act like Nature would is pleonastic as well as bringing a tree into a wood. The curator’s work is to activate and promote what could change, sometimes even fix Nature.