Visual Arts | Performances | Architecture | Cooking sessions l Thematic meals | Screenings | Interdisciplinary dialogues | Workshops | Cultivation | Open access library | Mediation and Accessibility actions
Since its inception in 2017, foodculture days’ biennale of socially engaged art and practices questions our relationship to the world and supports plurality in all its forms. It is the main project of the eponymous platform and aims to be a catalyst for discussion and action through environmental and social claims. As a fundamental ritual of life, the act of eating is approached through the specificities of each invited artist, scientist, farmer, cook, philosopher, activist, anthropologist, gardener, producer, researcher, and local expert interested in food as a research subject, as a medium and as a tool for convivial interaction.
For its 4th Edition, “Devouring the Soil’s Words”, foodculture days curatorial approach spans through three main axes of reflection, encompassing fundamental and complementary topics that we wish to highlight through the program:
- The Territory | As a space for confrontation between local and global dynamics
Although international in its programming, foodculture days’ biennale is set in a specific territory - with its own geological, climatic, social, cultural, and political characteristics. Hence, the program is committed to giving a voice to local actors, not only from the cultural field but also from the agricultural and gastronomic sectors, notably through links and collaboration with the selected artists. It proposes a broad reading of this territory and of the tensions between the local bioregion and the globalized geopolitical dynamics, embodied by the presence of Nestlé's international headquarters in Vevey.
- The Commons | As an experimentation framework and a reflection on organization and social action models
Through its multidisciplinary approach, foodculture days’ biennale acts as a platform for reflection, exchange, and experimentation on social and ecological transformations. The projects developed and presented during the biennale represent opportunities to imagine models of organization and management, integrity, autonomy, and resistance in relation to issues of food sovereignty, sustainability, resilience, and collective responsibility.
- Artistic Creation | Through its potential and role in addressing social and environmental challenges
As a cultural and multidisciplinary event, the biennale places at the center the role and potential of artistic creation in raising awareness about ecological responsibility, social cohesion, and the imagination of possible futures, particularly through collaborative and participative projects. Combining ecological, cultural, social, health, economic and political issues, food serves as a poetic, metaphorical, and plastic material for this reflection.
Co-curated by Tali Serruya, Margaux Schwab, and Simon Würsten Marin, in 2023, the biennale will propose a visual arts exhibition, commissioned projects, a series of interdisciplinary dialogues, a cultural mediation program, and the planting of a perennial wheat field. With the aim of offering a place for critical and accessible exchange, committed and sensitive, and above all fertile for collective reflection, the initiative invites the public to take part in the projects in various forms using the unifying power of food, in an alarming global geopolitical, social and environmental context.
“Devouring the Soil’s Words” ’is international in its conception and, simultaneously, firmly rooted in the Vevey area via its permanent initiatives and traces on the territory as well as via a strong network of artisans, producers, and local experts engaged for a fair, ethical and sustainable culture. Besides, it is evolving from an event lasting a few days (2017-2021) to a multidisciplinary biennale unfolding around the city of Vevey for 10 days (2023). More than 60 local and international artists and practitioners are invited to take part.
Convinced that art is a vector for emancipation and better living together, foodculture days aims to promote current artistic creation in all its forms and to make it accessible to all, free of charge.
- Central Pavilion | Place de l’Aviron, Vevey
Developed in collaboration with a collective of Swiss architects, urbanists and designers Sébastien Tripod, Mara Usai and Mélissa Rouvinet, the Central Pavilion links architecture, art, and gastronomy. Its modular spaces evolve over the course of the day, according to needs and use - kitchen, library, agora, cinema, workshop, information point. As the space for meetings and reflections on Leman lake’s shore, it serves as a central location for the biennale.
Meike Brückner (DE) / Aziadé Cirlini & Marie Bergé (LaMonade) (CH) / Nicolas Darnauguilhem (La Pinte des Mosettes) (CH) / Food for Justice (DE) / Sujatro Ghosh (IND, DE) / Margaretha Jüngling (CH) / Kitchuan (CH) / Maya Minder (CH) / Tasty Futures (CH) / Sébastien Tripod, Mélissa Rouvinet & Mara Usai (CH) / INLAND Academy (ALL)
- Territorial Agenda | Central Pavilion, Musée du Jeu, Vevey + La Tour-de-Peilz
These projects were conceived specifically for the 2023 biennale and have been selected after an open call that drew more than 370 applications. They all take over specific places in the town of Vevey, according to their aims and needs, proposing a direct reflection on the territory.
Bakudapan - Food Study Group (IND) / Francesca Paola Beltrame (IT) / Suzanne Bernhardt & Philipp Kolmann (NL, AUT) / Mabe Bethônico (BR) / Domingo Club (ESP) / Daniel Hellmann (CH) / Monika Emmanuelle Kazi (CH) / Ana Núñez Rodríguez (COL) / Maja Renn, Fabio Don & Piotr Matkowski (CH, POL) / Christian Sleiman (LB) / Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro & Juliane Foronda (FR, CAN) /
- Exhibition Sobremesa | Les 3 Sifflets, À La Valsainte, Bachibouzouk, Bar-Scène Le Bout du Monde, Céleste, Le Syrien, Hôtel des Trois Couronnes, Vevey
The exhibition brings together the works of seven artists working on, with, or around food. Disseminated in a selection of Vevey’s restaurants, cafes and bistros, Sobremesa offers an artistic journey as well as a discovery of some of the city's most emblematic gastronomic venues.
Brigham Baker (USA/CH) / Adrien Chevalley (CH) / Isaac Contreras (MX) / Doris Dehan Son (CH) / Phoebe-Lin Elnan (SG/NO/CH) / Gina Proenza (CH) / Oz Oderbolz (CH)
- Perennial Actions on the Territory, La Tour-de-Peilz
After our experience with the project Urban Orchard in collaboration with Praz Bonjour and Jacque Fallquet (2019), we restate our intention to anchor ourselves close to the local population in a sustainable way. The Planetary Wheat Fields, by artist Alexandra Baumgartner proposes to integrate and surface agricultural practices in an urban environment and is carried out together with local practitioners and agroecology experts during one full cycle of cultivation (2022-2023)
- Planetary Wheat Fields (2022- 2023) x Alexandra Baumgartner
- Learning program for children aged 10 to 12 years, in collaboration with the primary schools of La Tour-de-Peilz
- Mediation Program: Nutritional Practices
For foodculture days, the organization of cultural events is also accompanied by the responsibility to share resources and knowledge. Aimed at people who are excluded by current systems, this section celebrates the plurality of paths and bodies through food.
- Tour with the biennale’s curators
- Accessibility Action: “I eat out” (in collaboration with Vevey’s Public Library, Caritas, le Bureau de l’Intégration and Café Littéraire)