Allotment #9 – Building

Allotment returns on the 14th July 2015 with a participatory dinner themed around the idea of ‘Building’.

The concept of ‘Building’ considered its widest sense – as something we do individually and collectively every day through social encounters. Building relationships, building networks, building our sense of self, constructing spreadsheets, making artworks, investing in the future, supporting the growth of small businesses and the growth of large conglomerates, increasing the population of cities and the demand for new housing, to name a few potential interpretations of the concept of ‘building’.

Here are some inspirations for our participatory dinner:

– Exploring new (and old) trends in contemporary cuisine: what happened to food towers? They used to be one of the biggest trends in American (and European) cuisine. Why aren’t we stacking food anymore?

– How food can build a sense of freedom (and hierarchy) in prison:

– How cooking is a lot like mathematics (and why to build a perfect dish we need problem solving, creativity, and love)

– How food can contribute building power and national identity: in the Japanese tea ceremony, politics are served with every cup. 

– How food shapes our cities: a TED talk by architect Carolyn Steel discussing how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.

In the course of the event participants will explore how we are socialised through food, how food informs our sense of cultural identity and the relationship between food and ritual. Coinciding with the French National Day (also known as Bastille Day), celebrated annually on July 14th, guests are invited to reflect on how their relationship to food positions them socially and culturally. Commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, the dinner’s activities will involve collaborative teamwork, trust and a brush with hierarchy.

Over the three courses of the meal, guests will work together to select starters for their fellow participants based on information obtained from each other, potentially divulging secret pleasures and food phobias; as well as work in teams to with the aim of successfully assembling the main course from pre-made components. A trophy desert will conclude the meal.

Allotment: Building will be hosted at the beautiful Florence Trust during the end of residency exhibition, providing guest with the opportunity to view the work of the resident artists. The Florence Trust, situated within the Trust’s Grade-1 listed neo-gothic church, offers twelve-month studio residencies each year to a small number carefully selected artists.


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