On May 17 Polaris life – Concept Store in Bergamo hosted The Blank Kitchen, a project curated by Valentina Gervasoni and Letizia Ferrari. For that occasion, Ian Tweedy has been invited to cook a special lunch for the public. This has also been an occasion to present Chef#3, the third issue of a fanzine conceived by Valentina Gervasoni for The Blank Contemporary Art, which you can download by clicking here: Chef#3 — Ian Tweedy
What follows is an exchange of emails between Valentina Gervasoni and Ian Tweedy.*
— Dear Ian,
I was wondering if have you pleasure to take part to a project of the association The Blank: I remember that you told me that in May you will be in Europe, probably. So…I am writing to you because I would love to invite you to take part at “The Blank Kitchen”. This is a series of meetings in which an international artist is invited to create and prepare a special menu for guests. The lunch thus becomes a convivial moment in which the artist can present his work to the public in a simple and direct way. The lunch will be organized on Sunday 17 May.
Starting this year, the kitchen rendezvous has been enriched by a micro-publishing project curated by myself in collaboration with the Studio Temp in Bergamo. The project envisions the publication of Chef, a limited-edition and numbered fanzine signed by the artist, created through the interaction of the artist/project curator/graphic artist regarding the main theme selected by the artist. There is only one stipulation: the choice of a single color – with exception of black – to print it.
I’d love to participate in “the Blank Kitchen”. Thank you for asking, it sounds like so much fun. I already have an idea for the event. The idea is so far quite simple: recreate dishes that I have learned from my ex girlfriends. There’s a sort of sadness and remembrance in a light sort of way, memory as food and a bit of absurdity. It might be too personal or not…
— Ciao Ian,
After hearing your lunch theme, I’m thinking about my contribution on Chef. I remembered a cookbook that I’ve bought with one of my boyfriends, on which we have been written our personal judgement about the difficulty, the taste, the look of the dishes that we have prepared.
I think that the autobiography experience should be an important appearance in our fanzine and lunch, as well as it’s in your works. The considerations on the cooked dishes were written on Post-it… I’d really love to create a kind of collage, at least on the surface, with your experience, my experience and with the collective one.
— Hi Valentina
I am in Vienna at a residency that has the worst internet connection I’ve ever dealt with, I had better Wi-Fi back in 2001. Because of the speed of internet and there’s no internet cafe really near me, I will send one pic at a time. I thought about making Italy (Rome, in particular, city that I love much more than Milan) look like a foreign place. A reverse Vespucci meets America, America meets Vespucci.
To update you, I thought I would stick to the theme during my life in Italy, and the food I will cook … yes, it will be, Italian. An American that cook typical Italian for you! I am fully aware of the absurdity, but these are personal dishes I wanted to share with you. And of course I want to express my position as foreigner in Italy, not as tourist but as participant. I can go on and on about this topic but I’m afraid my internet connection will fail. So far I will be doing really traditional plates, like Bruschette and Orrechiette alle cime di rapa and for the dessert there will be strawberries in lemon with a touch of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Still not sure if there will be a second plate though. I do great risottos but not sure if that goes along with pasta afterwards, no?
Can you check if any of these things are in season or available? I have been spoiled in NY: we have cime di rapa all year round.
— Ian, have you seen the last pdf?
I think reflects the idea of Rome as exotic space, a sort of Geo-reportage. I like the fact it looks like a video with subtitles. It’s estranging, and creates a sort of story. As well the part reserved to the news, on the back, that seems a scan of a journal page. I think it looks nice
— here’s just a mock up, not to be taken literally, or maybe, but I thought I liked the american/roman context of the artichoke, and the texts somewhat resembling its form. I had originally thought it could be nice to have the text over all the images… I didn’t realize actually the subtitle idea. Ah, I love it! Even more estranging.