Aesthetic Nutrition

How does nutrition, on a socio-economic level and in its’ most basic form, relate to the aesthetic values of today’s society? This question can only come from Ana Cardim, who has a passion to make interactive, sociable jewelry-art. This takes shape in her recent project “Aesthetic Nutrition”.

The project consists of a video, projected on a wall, three heaps of rice, chopsticks and three bowls containing one, two and three hand-made rice grains. Each grain is made from pure gold, weighs half a gram, and has the economic value of about 15 kilos of eatable dry rice. (How many grains would that be?) In total, the project exists of three grams of gold, enough for a beautiful gold ring, and 90 kilo’s of rice, which can provide a meal for 1800 people! In the video you’ll see a girl trying to eat it all… Everyone that visited ‘Aesthetic Nutrition’ was given a cup filled with delicious rice-pudding.

With her project ‘Aesthetic Nutrition’, Ana Cardim seeks attention for the idea of the difference in quantity, and levels of value, between the esthetic value of gold and the value given to the basic human need for food.
I am glad this project touches the subject of discrepancy in value and quantity from an aesthetic point of view. The rice-colored, ceramic bowls that contain the golden grains, are shaped like up-side-down rice heaps and make a good visual contrast with the actual heaps of rice. The chopsticks both separate and connect the two, underlining the visual link. The video shown on the wall, completes the display. The action of handing out cups of rice-pudding causes the viewer to connect to the exhibit. How can you resist thinking about the subject, when looking at the serene beauty of the whole set-up, whilst eating yummie pudding!

The launch of the ‘Aesthetic Nutrition’ project happened on the 6th of July, and was commissioned by Bypass, an art magazine that invites artists to write about their work. The second magazine is due to be released in October 2010 and will contain an extensive article by Ana Cardim.

‘Aesthetic Nutrition’ was held in Appleton Square, which is a multivalent space geared towards diverse artistic manifestations and towards the sharing of multidisciplinary experiences. It was the first time that they had work on display by a jewelry designer!


Kevin Murray said...

This reminds me of Susan Cohn's Way Past Real installation that played with the capacity of aluminum and plating to outshine solid gold. While questioning the convention attached to the gold standard, I wonder how this could go further in the circulation of jewellery in the street. Can you imagine a rice wedding ring?

Broes van Iterson said...

With the challenge of creating and using new materials in jewelry, (for example in my post 'Camee de lait' in September 2009) I think a rice wedding ring will be on the way soon... I'd love to see one of those!