35 Fragments

35 Fragments (2015) was a gastroperformance originally offered for the ARCO Feria Internacional Arte Contemporáneo at the Brazilian embassy in Madrid, Spain, and reprised for the 12th edition of SP-Arte, 2016, at the Bienal Pavilion, São Paulo, sponsored by Air France, and in 2018 at Senac Aclimação. The work merged gastronomy, theatre, music, painting and sculpture, by using the materiality of food as a form of expression. Each session sat up to 40 people. On a long table, 35 life-size faces looked vertically up. They were sculpted from edible materials using a technique devised by Simone Mattar and her team. Footage of the faces of 35 real people from different cultures was projected over the faces, and the images were synchronised with the audio of their voices. They talked about anxieties, fears, childhood memories and dreams, and revealed individual conflicts of belonging, transience and fragility. At the same time, they questioned the validity of the very project they were in. The contradictions built up a crescendo, culminating in a cacophony of voices in which the heads began to propose their own cannibalistic sacrifice as a solution, and invited the visitors to eat them with the cutlery made available. As they were eaten, the projections onto the faces took on grotesque shapes. The recipes inside the heads were: smoked eggplant mousse, pepper paste with walnuts, grain salad with Lebanese pepper and pomegranate; six-cheese mousse with surprise tomatoes filled with arugula or olive pesto; semisweet chocolate crèmeux, aerated paçoca mousse, peanut crunchies; creamy corn custard mousse, soft guava, and candied coconut crunchies.