Maryse Morin draws on the fields of music, media arts and anthropology, and writes within the liminal spaces between art and anthropology.

Italian chef and activist Massimo Bottura’s Theater of Life

Italian chef and activist Massimo Bottura’s Theater of Life

© Alberto Bobbera/Paolo Terzi/Maryse Morin. Image used courtesy of the artist.

From May 25‒28, 2016, the Centre Phi held a series of socio-culinary and multidisciplinary events focused on the theme of food wastage and featuring a variety of innovative local and international personalities, including Italian chef and activist Massimo Bottura. At the heart of this initiative was a preview screening of Theater of Life, a documentary by Peter Svatek—spatialized across six different screens—and making use of contrasting juxtapositions to relate the “extraordinary encounter between the two contradictory worlds” of haute cuisine and hunger. The documentary’s backdrop was the Universal Exposition that took place in Milan in 2015 on the topic of food. 

 

Dreams giving rise to responsibilities 

Massimo Bottura, owner and chef of the restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, views his work as a laboratory in which art and the concept of process inform a culture, a kind of craft in which the poetic act brings about transformation. In this regard, he refers to Ai Weiwei, Vik Muniz and Joseph Bueys, along with the concepts of social sculpture and the use of organic and unconventional materials.

This is the spirit in which he undertook the project of the Refettorio Ambrosiano—a soup kitchen in Greco, a poor neighbourhood in the suburbs of Milan—primarily in order to make use of the leftover food from Expo 2015. The project has continued to pick up momentum and gone international with the creation of the non-profit organization Food for Soul.

Judging by the patently digital vision set forth by the National Film Board of Canada, the act of imagination, mobilization and transformation that is Theater of Life fits into the broader project of becoming an important player in digital storytelling, with a view to helping redefine or perhaps even give an exploratory vocation to the public sphere in this early 21st century.

Thanks to its hallmark social and multidisciplinary flavour, Theater of Life contributes in de-compartmentalizing actors across different disciplines. A rapprochement that is continually called for by the very act of creation.

dominique t. skoltz: traversées

dominique t. skoltz: traversées

“Les Temps inachevés” of Patrick Bernatchez

“Les Temps inachevés” of Patrick Bernatchez