Ritual de Vida

Overview of the installation at The LAND/gallery during the
“34.495N, 106.330W: Recent Residencies” exhibit,
Albuquerque, NM April 2008

RITUAL DE VIDA

PIEDRA QUE ALIMENTA

ALMA DE TIERRA

Our intimate relationship with the environment is defined – in part – by what we eat, how we grow food, make it accessible for consumption, and by the rituals of preparing meals and eating them. THE LAND/ an art site through its residency program, offered me a unique opportunity to explore this connection with nature and to share with other artists. My first aesthetic experience on the site was a gathering around the table, sharing food and good conversation with artists from around the world.

From that experience, and a further understanding of the materials and edible plants found on the site, I began working on a set of utensils and recipes inspired by the land. It was important to me to create a piece that involved working on-site and was extended to the intimacy of the kitchen. Overall, the piece would represent a space to exercise generosity and create community. It would examine where our food comes from, and how intrinsic the land – and the food harvested from it – are to our sense of place.

Grindelia aphanactis
Cream of pumpkin & corn soup with toasted beans,
green chile oil and spicy seeds on stone plate
11”x 8” x 8”


For this piece, I was interested in understanding the history of the specific site, what was cultivated and eaten here, and how the land sustained people. My idea was to combine the history of the site and the resources there with my own experience as a visitor, and specifically as a Mexican artist. I have created a banquet – utensils and all – that is a fusion between local plants and ingredients, Mexican cuisine, raw materials and images from nature.

Together, they represent how we connect with each other and the land through the rituals of growing, harvesting, cooking and eating. The menu, to be shared by four guests, includes pumpkin & corn soup with roasted beans and green chile oil, apple salad with goat cheese, wild onions and local greens, rosemary venison with polenta, roasted peppers and wild berry sauce and caramelized apples stuffed with dried fruits and pine nuts for dessert.

Opuntia phaecantha
Dried apple salad with goat cheese, onions, dandelions,
wild seeds and red chile vinaigrette on stone plate
13”x 7” x 8”

Working as a guest artist on THE LAND made me realize the importance of a connection to local resources without losing perspective of the globalized world. What we eat defines who we are. Who – and where – we are determines what food we grow, buy and eat. It’s important to think of food in an environmental context. Just as the history shaped the present landscape, the decisions we make today, as consumers will shape the the future.

Asclepias subverticillata
Venison stuffed with polenta, seared in a juniper berry sauce and accompanied by assorted peppers on stone plate
11”x 8” x 8”

Menu / Menú

Grindelia aphanactis

Cream of pumpkin & corn soup with toasted beans, green chile oil and spicy seeds /

Crema de calabaza y elote con frijoles tostados, aceite de chile verde y semillas picantes

Opuntia phaecantha 

Dried apple salad with goat cheese, onions, dandelions, wild seeds and red chile vinaigrette /

Ensalada de manzana seca con queso de cabra, cebolla, dientes de leon, semillas salvajes y vinagreta de chile rojo

Asclepias subverticillata 

Venison stuffed with polenta, seared in a juniper berry sauce and accompanied by assorted peppers /

Venado relleno de polenta sellado en salsa de enebro y acompañado de pimientos

Lycium pallidum

Rosemary and orange candied apple stuffed with pine nuts, honey, spices and topped with fresh basil /

Manzana cubierta de caramelo de romero y naranja rellena de piñones, miel, especias y albahaca fresca

Shiraz

Blue Teal Vineyards 2006. New Mexico

Prickly Pear Wine /Licor de tuna

8 year old wine aged in oak /8 años de añoejamiento en barrica de roble

Placitas, New Mexico

Lycium pallidum
Rosemary and orange candied apple stuffed with pine nuts, honey, spices and topped with fresh basil on cherry wood dessert plate
4”x 4” x 4”

Dinning set
pine Salad Plate (8”x 6” x 5”), river stone plate (11”x 8” x 3”),
cherry wood dessert plate (3”x 3” x .5”),
cottonwood & bamboo spoon, fork & knife (8”x 1”x .5”, ea.),
river stone utensil rest (3”x 2”x .5”), drinking gourd (4”x 4”x 4”),
carnaigre dyed linen placemat (11”x 8”), carnaigre dyed linen napkin (8”x 8”)


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