Amuse-bouche
The Taste
of Art

Installation view with works by Slavs and Tatars, Brine & Punishment, 2019 (front) and Pickle Tits, 2018 © 2020 Museum Tinguely, Basel; photo: Gina Folly

Museum Tinguely, 19 February – 26 July 2020


«Amuse-bouche. The Taste of Art» is the third art experiment at Museum Tinguely, entering the world of the human senses. These play an essential role in the experience of art. Our perception is always multisensory and strongly influenced by indivual emotions and memories. Especially regarding the sense of taste, it often cannot be separated from the sense of smell or the sense of sight. «Amuse-bouche» focuses on the sense of taste and poses the question: Does art taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty, or even umami? What role does our sense of taste play as an artistic material and in our social interactions?

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The group exhibition presents artworks by some forty-five international artists from the baroque to the present that explore our sense of taste as a dimension of aesthetic perception. Breaking with the usual museum practice of appealing primarily to the sense of sight, the show offers art-historical and phenomenological encounters with our sense of taste. Some of the works offer a participatory experience – during special guided tours and performances, the works themselves can be tasted (see event programme).

Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Fruchtstillleben mit gefülltem Weinglas, 17. Jh. Öl auf Eichenholz, 35 × 53 cm Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe © bpk / Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe / Annette Fischer / Heike Kohler

Video (in German) | Curator Annja Müller-Alsbach

Farah Al Qasimi, Lunch, 2018; Inkjetprint (Ausstellungskopie), 102 x 74 cm Courtesy of the artist, The Third Line, Dubai and Helena Anrather Gallery, New York  © Farah Al Qasimi; Foto: Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai and Helena Anrather Gallery, New York

Farah Al Qasimi, Lunch, 2018; archival inkjet print (exhibition copy), 102 × 74 cm; Courtesy of the artist, The Third Line, Dubai and Helena Anrather Gallery, New York © Farah Al Qasimi; photo: Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line, Dubai and Helena Anrather Gallery, New York

In traditional accounts of the senses, taste is predicated on direct physical contact. We perceive the world around us in all its diversity through the physical sensation of taste in the mouth and on the tongue. The exhibition at Museum Tinguely poses various questions concerning our many fields of taste-related experience: How do we perceive art made of foods and their specific nuances of taste? What happens when our mouth and tongue suddenly take centre stage in the art experience? Can artworks address the sense of taste even without direct physical contact to the viewer? Can gustatory experiences be described and translated into pictures? Can flavour serve as a medium of artistic expression and creativity?

«Amuse-bouche. The Taste of Art» includes allegorical depictions of the sense of taste by Baroque masters, works by avant-garde artists of the early 20th century and exhibits from the 1960s and ’70s. The main focus is on a representative selection of paintings, photographs, sculptures, video works and installations from the past thirty years, all of which address the ingestion and tasting of food in a variety of ways.

Marisa Benjamim, preparatory sketches for Hortus Deliciarum at Museum Tinguely, 2019; Collage and ink on paper, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist © Marisa Benjamim; photo: Andrés Galeano

Marisa Benjamim, preparatory sketches for Hortus Deliciarum at Museum Tinguely, 2019; Collage and ink on paper, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist © Marisa Benjamim; photo: Andrés Galeano

Otobong Nkanga, Contained Measures of a Kolanut, 2012/2014, performance and installation view in the exhibition Szalon at the Logan, Centre of Arts, Chicago, USA (September 19 – November 23, 2014); variable sizes of tables, handmade100%, cotton paper, inkjet printed photographs on forex, wood, kolanuts, extract of kolanut, glass, plates, knife, gloves, cushions, decanter and stand, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist © Otobong Nkanga; photo: Marco G. Ferrari, Courtesy of the artist

Otobong Nkanga, Contained Measures of a Kolanut, 2012/2014, performance and installation view in the exhibition Szalon at the Logan, Centre of Arts, Chicago, USA (September 19 – November 23, 2014); variable sizes of tables, handmade100%, cotton paper, inkjet printed photographs on forex, wood, kolanuts, extract of kolanut, glass, plates, knife, gloves, cushions, decanter and stand, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist © Otobong Nkanga; photo: Marco G. Ferrari, Courtesy of the artist

Some of the works on display can be tasted during special guided tours and performances. On particular days, visitors can sample edible plants in the Hortus Deliciarum, an installation- and performance-based project by the Portuguese artist Marisa Benjamim, or the monumental participatory works made of gingerbread cookies by the Australian artist Elizabeth Willing. Sauerkraut juice labelled «Brine and Punishment» features in a large-scale installation by Slavs and Tatars, a Berlin-based artists’ collective. This sharp-tasting power drink provides a sensory experience within the artist’s philosophical engagement with the many-layered meanings and interpretations of fermentation and «going sour».

Current socio-political issues are also addressed by the Berlin-based Nigerian artist Emeka Ogboh in his ongoing project Sufferhead Original. In the Basel edition of this stout beer that keeps changing its taste, Ogboh once again raises the provocative question: «Who’s afraid of black?» The show also includes works in different media where tastes are merely evoked in the viewer’s imagination.

Emeka Ogboh, Sufferhead Original – Basel Edition, 2020 © Emeka Ogboh; photo: Emeka Ogboh

Emeka Ogboh, Sufferhead Original – Basel Edition, 2020 © Emeka Ogboh; photo: Emeka Ogboh

The show includes works by artists including Sonja Alhäuser, Farah Al Qasimi, Janine Antoni, Marisa Benjamim, Joseph Beuys, George Brecht, Pol Bury, Costantino Ciervo, Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Bea de Visser, Marcel Duchamp, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Urs Fischer, Fischli/Weiss, Karl Gerstner, Damien Hirst, Roelof Louw, Sarah Lucas, Opavivará!, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Cildo Meireles, Alexandra Meyer, Antonio Miralda-Dorothée Selz, Nicolas Momein, Anca Munteanu Rimnic, Otobong Nkanga, Emeka Ogboh, Dennis Oppenheim, Meret Oppenheim, Tobias Rehberger, Torbjørn Rødland, Dieter Roth, Roman Signer, Cindy Sherman, Shimabuku, Slavs and Tatars, Daniel Spoerri, Mladen Stilinović, Sam Taylor-Johnson, André Thomkins, Jorinde Voigt, Claudia Vogel, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Elizabeth Willing, Erwin Wurm, Rémy Zaugg.

Guided Tour in Sign Language through «Amuse-bouche»

 


Lua Leirner shows our deaf visitors from near and far the special exhibtion regarding the taste of art in german sign language.

AMUSE-BOUCHE in ORF-Kulturmontag of 2 March 2020


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