Havana Biennial visitors and locals will enjoy a meal prepared by a paired team of New York and paladar chefs.
Presented by Alberto Magnan of Magnan
Metz Gallery and
curator Elizabeth M. Grady.
Artist/Architect Craig Shillitto
Paladar (plural: paladares) is a term used to refer to
restaurants run by self-employers.
These are mostly family-run businesses run out of
private homes using residential cooking equipment.
Proyecto Paladar is a performance artwork consisting
of a food and cooking installation that will be recreated in various
international locations. At each destination, ten top New York City chefs will
travel and pair with ten local chefs to collaborate on the invention,
purveying, and serving of a unique menu. Visiting and local participants will
dine together in an exchange that promotes shared understanding through a
culinary framework. As the project
progresses, photographs of participants will be framed and displayed, creating
a kind of impromptu portrait gallery which contributes to the visual dynamism
of the social sculpture.
Conceived by Craig Shillitto in response to the
Biennial theme, “Artistic Practices and Social Imagination” (Prácticas
artísticas e imaginarios sociales), this project promotes social and cultural exchange
through the staging of an ambitious artistic intervention during the 11th
Havana Biennial, 2012. The project has been accepted by the Biennial
administration, the Cuban Government, the agency of Habana Vieja, and the
Wifredo Lam Center for Contemporary Art, which will host the project within its
facility. Its strength is reflected in the fact that Proyecto Paladar has been selected to be prominently
featured at the front of the official Biennial catalog.
Confirmed chef participants to date are:
Sarah Jenkins, Porsena, Porchetta (Chef Director for the project)
Marco Canora, Hearth,
Mark Ladner, Del
Anita Lo, Annisa,
Sisha Ortúzar, Riverpark
Michael Paley, Proof
Tamara Reynolds, Sunday Night Dinner
Pierre Thiam, Le
Sue Torres, Sueños
Drawing on his extensive experience
as an architect with 15 years in restaurant design and as an artist, Mr.
Shillitto has created a framework for a collaboration of many partners in many
disciplines. This central paladar concept will facilitate cultural exchange, seen through the
lens of food. Locals and visitors will engage in construction, cooking, and
dining in a spirit of mutual understanding based on their personal experiences.
Dining: For ten days at a time, ten New York based chefs of the
highest caliber will be matched with ten paladar chefs. They will share techniques
and recipes, trading experiences and ideas. Visitors from abroad will be paired
with resident citizens to share a meal and thereby become diner participants in
the project. Facing one another
across a table with six seats on one side and six on the other, they will enjoy
the hybrid food created especially for them by the collaborative team of New
York and local chefs. With the aid
of provided translation assistance, diners will trade stories and experiences.
Their meals, conversations, and the overall performance will be documented and
displayed in an on-site gallery: each seating
will be photographed and printed on-site, and then signed by all diners and
immediately framed and hung in the interior of the dining room in the common,
international tradition of many restaurants.
The Book: The project will be documented as a bilingual art and
cookbook. The volume will include a minimum of one recipe by each chef for a
total of twenty recipes per iteration, as well as biographical pictures and
text about the chefs. Also included will be process studies for the project,
working drawings, photographs of the installation and essays by art and food
professionals. Additional vignettes on a wide range of related topics like
urban and organic farming, and local food markets and traditions of purveying
will be featured throughout the book. Any proceeds from book sales will be used
to cover the production costs for the book and project.
Artist Biography: Craig Shillitto received a Bachelor
of Architecture degree from the
University of Oregon in 1991, and a post-professional
Masters Degree from the Graduate
School of Design at Harvard University in 1996. While
at the University of Oregon he also
received fine art instruction, and has a long history
of engagement with art. In addition to
collaborating in the realization of many art spaces
and art projects, he has been involved in
significant international exhibitions, including the
3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art
(2009) and the Biennial of the Canary Islands (Bienal
de Canarias) (2009). Current projects
include a significant urban intervention in the
barrios of Quito, Ecuador, which will result in a
book publication and exhibition at the new Center for
Contemporary Art (Centro Ecuatoriano
de Arte Contemporaneo) and, as part of Harrison
Atelier, the installation Pharmacophore at
the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York,
which was a hybrid of sculpture and set
design. He has built well over forty buildings and
architectural projects in the United States
Biography: Elizabeth M. Grady, Ph.D., is Program Manager of
smARTpower, a U.S. State Department-funded initiative run by the Bronx Museum.
She is Adjunct Professor of Art History at F.I.T./SUNY. Recent exhibitions and
projects include curating The Situation, for the Moscow Biennale
(2009), producing its full-length catalogue, acting as Associate Curator for
the Second Biennial of the Canary Islands (2009), and project coordination of a
major Matthew Ritchie archiving and conservation project. She has curated many
exhibitions in the United States, and has held positions in the curatorial
departments of various institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American
Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, New
York. Publications include Matthew Ritchie: More than the eye (Rizzoli,
2009), and essays for numerous exhibition catalogues.