[spectre] Beggar' s Food: Foodpower Performance

Redazione Digicult redazione at digicult.it
Fri Jan 22 12:00:58 CET 2010

Sorry for any crosspostings

Digicult presents:

Beggar' s Food : Foodpower Performance
I'm hangry / Are you hungry?

Milan, Tuesday the 2nd of February 2010 at 5.30 PM


Media partner and press: Digicult (www.digicult.it). Critical text: Antonio 
Video, directing and editing: Franca Formenti



Tuesday the 2nd of February 2010 at 5.30 PM Dissapore presents Beggar's Food 
| I'm Hungry / Are You Hungry?, a performance developed by the artist Franca 
Formenti and created in collaboration with the director of Dissapore, 
Massimo Bernardi.The event was triggered by FoodPower, a project created by 
Franca Formenti in 2007 and developed into a series of actions and 
performances through which to re-think about food, intended as a core 
instrument of power mechanisms.

t's not a coincidence that at the beginning of the new century food has 
become, as did happen at the dawn of modernity, a cultural phenomenon. We 
are going through a phase of social transformation, of adaptation to a new 
form of capitalism, the capitalism of knowledge. In this new phase food 
becomes a central cultural object.

"We are idealistically used to the fact that culture is in the high ranks of 
our life, that's it's a bit above us, that it is the highest and most noble 
product of our brain, often forgetting about our stomach. In some moments of 
transition food becomes "food for thought". Food reminds us that our body 
keeps being the privileged instrument of our thoughts, and even some of the 
more immaterial, noble and vile things that human beings can produce". 
(Antonio Caronia)

FoodPower is a work in progress of actions and situations that involve the 
audience and professionals of the world of food, creative incursions that 
act on the various ways of experiencing food and the behaviour that it 

At the same time with the 2010 edition of the Milan congress of Identità 
Golose (Gluttonous Identities) , a meeting of international importance 
dedicated to authorial cuisine Beggar's Food | I'm Hungry / Are You Hungry? 
In Milan, in Piazza Argentina, will have a food stand , where the public can 
buy food prepared by exceptional chefs. Beggar's Food will be an occasion to 
taste dishes prepared by some homeless immigrants, who, after having been 
trained by the Dissapore staff, which is a reference point for the world of 
food in its various meanings, have acquired a high level of competence and 
professionalism in the restoration field. The chefs will give the public 
that take part in the performance a bowl of soup, a dish that is connected 
to the tradition of "poor" cuisine. An example of social diet, soup is 
capable of seducing taste, nurturing healthily and protecting from the cold 
weather of winter in a genuine and economical way

Beggar's Food is an event connected to food and the pleasure of the palate, 
but at the same time it is a prototype for the creation of a new economical 
model, an inversion of the mechanism of supply/demand for those who live in 
difficult social and economical situations.

"I'm Hungry" is a statement, but at the same time a question, which crowds 
around the streets of Milan in a problematic way: on sidewalks, in the 
underground, on streetcars, these places are stages for increasingly 
pressured requests from those who are hungry, those who do not have a roof 
over their head, those who do not even have the bare minimum to be able to 
survive. The demand for food passes through the cleanliness of a car 
windscreen at a traffic light, the gadgets of street sellers, the roses 
given at restaurant tables, the petulant echoes of a question that 
multiplies uncontrollably. The answer is often detachment toward those 
requests, and in many cases, exploitation of them. The problem of the 
question "I'm Hungry" and its consequences are at the core of the concept of 
Beggar's Food . The performance takes its title from Berthold Brecht's 
"Three Penny Opera", which was inspired by the satirical comedy "The Beggar's 
Opera" by John Gay in 1727. In the original text, Gay makes the poor people, 
the beggars, into the pariahs of society, heroes of a world turned upside 
down. Gay triggers an overturn of the values of his contemporary London to 
represent the image of corruption and immorality of the political system of 
high society as a reflection.

In the same way, the performance Beggar's Food isolates the social 
phenomenon of the excluded, the poor man, and makes him a street action, a 
situation where he can take part, provoking an overturning of the rules with 
which to play. Beggar's Food inverts the burning question of the poor man by 
transforming it until it becomes an offering: "I'm Hungry" becomes "Are you 
Hungry?". Thanks to the competence and experience of Massimo Bernardi and 
the staff of Dissapore, the poor man enters into the world of food, becoming 
a person who offers something instead of a victim of his own question. An 
offer that creates an economical offer, seeing as the public will be able to 
give money back. A donation or the umpteenth hand-out, and a symbol that is 
firmly in the "space" of the performance is the relationship between 
food-money that is at the base of the liberal economy.

Dissapore was founded in 2009 by Massimo Bernardi in collaboration with a 
series of associated editors, with the objective of creating an informative 
and thought-provoking space on food and wine and to give an impression in 
real time on top gastronomical news. Designed by Tiziano Fogliata with the 
graphics of Antonio Tomacelli, Dissapore wants to be an encounter between 
the traditional editorial model of a magazine and the innovative one of a 
blog. A editing team of dynamic collaborators who mix text content with 
multimedia, thanks to the video contributions, to propose an antidote to the 
daily dose of gastronomical journalism that is insipid and servile, 
lightened by the pleasure of discovering, cooking, eating and sharing good 
food. Beggar's Food is an event created by Franca Formenti, developed in 
collaboration with Massimo Bernardi and Dissapore (www.dissapore.com).

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