Delfina Foundation

Theme: The Politics of Food: Markets and Movements

A four-year programme of artistic research and production


In summer 2016, Delfina Foundation’s The Politics of Food series will enter its third season. Since 2014, this programme has brought together over 70 artists, activists, anthropologists, agronomists, chefs, curators, scientists and writers from 32 countries through residencies, events and exhibitions. The first season in winter 2014 introduced a number of general environmental, economic and social concerns that have guided the overall programme, while the second season in spring 2015 specifically explored the relationship between food and three sub-themes: Sex, Diet & Disaster.

The Politics of Food: Markets and Movements will continue to deepen our investigation of this theme. Over twelve weeks, we will work with artists, curators and thinkers to investigate the production and distribution of food. We will explore complex and urgent issues including, but not limited to, agricultural labour and seasonal migration; developments in biotechnological food sciences; food sovereignty and heritage, from grains to recipes to production methods; how food features in radical collective political movements as well as the increase of individual consumer choice and its impact on the wider global food economy.

Participants will include: Amy Franceschini (USA), Thomas Pausz (Iceland/France), Forager Collective (India), Fernando Garcia-Dory (Spain), Serkan Taycan (Turkey); Kathrin Böhm (UK), Chris Fite-Wassilak (UK/USA), Jane Levi (UK), Laura Wilson (UK) and more to be announced.

The public programme will include events as part of the Futurefarmers’ Flatbread Society Seed Journey and Kathrin Böhm’s Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks project, and an artist talk by Fernando Garcia-Dory, among others.

Additionally, the season includes off-site programming by Cooking Sections at their new installation, The Empire Remains Shop. For further information please scroll down.

Participants confirmed so far include:

International Artists

Amy Franceschini (USA)
Any Franceschini is the founder of the collective design studio Futurefarmers, a group of diverse practitioners dedicated to site specific interventions and frameworks for social exchange. Their practice seeks to deconstruct systems such as food policies, public transportation and rural farming networks to visualize and understand their internal logics. For the residency, Franceschini will use Delfina Foundation as the temporary London base of the Flatbread Society Seed Journey. This project is a sea voyage connected to a public art project in the former port of Bjørvika in Oslo, Norway, moving people, ideas and seeds upon an 1895, Colin Archer rescue sailboat from Oslo to Istanbul, Turkey.

Thomas Pausz (Iceland/France)
Thomas Pausz is a critical designer who documents both real and speculative production scenarios and their impact on localities. His cross-disciplinary research is communicated through product editions, exhibitions, publications and public workshops. For his residency at Delfina Foundation, Pausz proposes to re-engage his established relationship with East London allotment communities to develop a new project titled The Hybrid Allotment. Drawing on three key alternative food movements, Chemurgy, Farmhacking, and Bio-design, he intends to develop practical design strategies that could increase the potential for local urban production.

Forager Collective (Deepa Bhasthi) (India)
Deepa Bhasthi is a writer and a founding member of Forager Collective, a group of cultural practitioners whose research based practice investigates issues and ideas that are changing and shaping the politics, culture, physical geographies and socio-economic structures in the contemporary world. An ongoing project of the Collective is The Forager magazine, an online journal of food as a cultural practice and political issue. During the residency, Forager Collective will look at the appeal of the myths and stories behind products, new fads or whole movements, which continue to be employed by corporate markets. Over 12 weeks, Forager Collective will start a new ‘myth’ and market the story using a fabricated caché of texts, including news reports, land records, maps, and letters, informed by archival research into market trends and food movements.

Fernando García-Dory (Spain)
Fernando García-Dory´s collaborative projects involve using art as a means to try to precipitate social change, often addressing attitudes towards food production, community and tradition. His projects frequently involve creating a working platform or stage for meetings and discussions on the current situation of a particular aspect of land use or other farming related issue. He is interested in the process of building sustainable communities through collaborative and discursive agro-ecological projects, actions, and cooperatives. 

Serkan Taycan (Turkey)
Serkan Taycan focuses on the transformation of urban and rural spaces, and the physical, social and ecological impact of this transformation. Taycan works with diverse imaginations and projections regarding the future and conditions of humanity as part of these processes, working primarily with photography and maps, and also engages with walking. While at Delfina Foundation he will develop his current major research project into the role of dams in global water problems, centering on the possibilities of creating a working hydrolab as an interdisciplinary ecological-artistic research platform. 

UK Associates

Kathrin Böhm (Myvillages)
Kathrin Böhm is an artist and founding member of the London-based art and architecture collective Public Works, and the pan-european artist group Myvillages. All of Kathrin’s project deal with the making of public space and how everyday realities and collective resources and abilities can shape and create new commons. As a UK Associate of The Politics of Food: Markets and Movements, Böhm will start the development of a new project drawn from Myvillages’ ongoing Company Drinks initiative, which looks closely at the histories and current realities of seasonal harvest labour and ecomomics of ‘going picking’ in Kent in relation to the politics and mobilities of food.

Chris Fite-Wassilak
Chris Fite-Wassilak is a writer, art critic and curator, a regular contributor to Frieze, Art Review, Art Monthly and Art Papers. For some time, Fite-Wassilak has been writing and researching about cheese production, informed by his work for over a decade as a cheesemonger. As a UK Associate, Fite-Wassilak will continue to develop his current project: a long-form essay that examines the politics and choices of food through two specific meals. This provides a basis with which to consider the stories, narratives, and fantasies that both individuals and companies project onto food. 

Jane Levi
Jane Levi is an academic and researcher committed to using food as a lens through which to examine so-called utopian ideas and utopian movements, past and present. Her research, analysis, and teaching offer to enrich our understanding of the present and consider possible futures for our food systems, encompassing growing, cooking, eating, conviviality and waste. Levi’s particular interest is the intellectual and cultural significance of food within the utopian imagination, and the ways in which we can understand our present dilemmas and consider options for our future through an enriched understanding of our past.

Laura Wilson
Negotiation is a necessary strategy in the production of Laura Wilson’s work, which often involves collaborations or exchanges with specialists, enacting the creation or displacement of materials and ideas. For this programme, Laura will be developing her new project Trained on Veda, an exploration of Veda bread, and industrially produced malt loaf. Laura is set to become the keeper of this century old recipe, discovered in 1904, meaning her project takes on a critical subjectivity on the questions of production, distribution and heritage. 



The Empire Remains Shop is an installation by Cooking Sections (Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernandez Pascual) at 93 Baker Street to open on 4 August 2016 as part of the Politics of Food programme. Over the course of three months, five artists will be in residence with Delfina Foundation as they participate in the programme at The Empire Remains Shop.

These artists are:

Annalee Davis (Barbados)
In her work Annalee Davis unpacks the plantation from the ground up and is inspired by the concept of phytoremediation – a scientific process which refers to some plants’ capacity to remove toxins through their root structure, from toxic fields. George Lamming’s call to alter the very chemistry of our own soil provides further stimulus for her work as an artist, educator and creative activist. Since 2011, Annalee has been the founding director of Fresh Milk, supporting excellence among emerging contemporary artists locally, throughout the Caribbean, its diaspora and internationally.

Shahmen Suku (Singapore/Australia)
Shahmen Suku is a performance artist based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial and cultural identity, gender roles, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling. Growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore before moving to Australia, Shahmen processes his sense of displacement from home as Radha La Bia, the Diva from India, who entered the country by dubious means. Drawing on a background in biomedical science, cooking and interior design, Radha’s performances create holistic experiences that encompass culinary science and spatial dynamics. Spiced with family stories, Radha’s shows range across pop culture, social media and an understanding of Australia as a foreign body.

Joni Taylor (Australia)
Joni Taylor is a curator and founder of the NEW LANDSCAPES INSTITUTE. Her work explores the transformation of landscapes and addresses contemporary urban and environmental conditions through research-based projects. She maintains a multidisciplinary practice combining new media, art, architecture and participatory activities. Current projects include research about public architecture at the NSW Government Architect archives and The Long Paddock a collaborative investigation into cultural landscapes of stock routes.

Fran Gallardo & Audrey Samson
Audrey Samson (Canada) is an artist-researcher currently completing a PhD at the School of Creative Media in Hong Kong. Her performative installations explore how memory and technical objects are entangled in the context of networked data archiving. Samson uses erasure of data as a performative strategy to examine the relationship between network materiality and forgetting. In works such as 'Chéri, ne me quitte pas' and 'Goodnight Sweetheart', erasure is achieved by visceral chemical degradation and embalming procedures. Her artistic approach, informed by the cultural context of technology, is ethnographical and rooted in software studies. | @ideacritik

Fran Gallardo (SP/UK/CAN) is a critical “thingker” whose background includes studies in design, biochemistry and space systems engineering. Within the umbrella of critical practices, or practice as critique, Fran's research explores environmentally embedded violence, collated in processes of environmentality, geo-power and liquid-life. He is currently developing forms of tongue-led inquiry in order to reintroduce the material intractability of global trade, the diminishing virtual negantropism of maritime finalisation, immiserate remote labour-power, alluring myths of ecological cosmopolitanism and other heterotopias flowing through the Thames Estuary.