San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

New exhibition serves up food as art

In the new art exhibit Bon ArtPetit, the theme, No entiendo ni papa (“I don’t understand a word” – but also a pun on the Spanish word for potato) focuses on the iconic potato.

The exhibit is inspired by the current trend “Eat Art,” which appeared in the 1960s under the impetus of Swiss artist, Daniel Spoerri. The trend attempts to turn food into an artistic creation.

The free exhibit will take place on Thursday at the Casa del Cuño, behind the Antigua Aduana, in downtown San José.

Amandine Decorne, manager of the Bon ArtPetit exhibit at the Alianza Francesa, said that the potato has a symbolic value because it represents the ancient links between America and Europe. The potato was introduced in France during the 17th century and now is a fundamental element of French cuisine. For many other countries, the potato has been considered important to everyday life. Additionally, the tuber is involved in many linguistic expressions, like couch potato and hot potato.

Bon ArtPetit held its first exhibit in 2008 with a gathering of more than 20 artists and chefs who presented their expertise through an artistic dinner. The event was a success and lead to the exhibit becoming an annual event.

A jury composed of María José Chavarría, curator of the Contemporary Museum of Art and Design, Luis Nuñez, director of the Dr. Rafael Ángel Calderón Guardia Historical Museum and Decorne selected six finalists from the 15 entries they received. The potato did not need to figure in each artist’s piece as long as the concept incorporated food.

Admission for the exhibit is free. However, attendees are asked to bring a small potato in lieu of an entrance fee. Guests will also use their potato to vote for their favorite art project.

There will be designs and T-shirts on sale at the exhibition with 20 percent of the proceeds going to a children’s soup kitchen at Redes de Esperanza (Networks of Hope). For more information call the Alianza Francesa at 2222 2283 ext. 7.

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