Cooking Sections uses food as a gateway to explore and respond to urgent environmental issues of our time. With an artistic language ranging across site-responsive installation and performance, the group’s work fuses visual art with architecture, ecology and geopolitics.
Wallowland, a new commission for the 17th Istanbul Biennial, traces the interactions of Istanbul’s water buffaloes with multiple ecologies in the wetlands around the city that are under threat of disappearance. In collaboration with herders, biologists, environmentalists, conservationists, ethnomusicologists and others, a series of metabolic surveys of the lifeforms interacting with water buffaloes was conducted at different times of the year. These interspecies visions lay the foundation for the first Water Buffalo Festival that is launched alongside the Biennial and will become an annual celebration to continue the project beyond this year’s edition. In parallel, Wallowland is also a site-specific installation at Büyükdere35, in the form of a Muhallebici (kaymak and sütlaç pudding shop), where the metabolic surveys are presented through different materials, tastings and sound. The festival took place on Saturday 17 September 2022 in Arnavutköy.
Cooking Sections (estd. 2013, London, UK) is a duo of spatial practitioners founded by Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe. They explore the systems that organise the world through food. Using installation and performance, their research-based practice examines the overlapping boundaries between visual arts, architecture, ecology and geopolitics. Recent solo exhibitions include Offsetted, Arthur Ross Gallery, Columbia University, New York, USA (2019); CLIMAVORE: Seasons Made to Drift, SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey (2021); Salmon: A Red Herring, Art Now, Tate Britain, London, UK (2020) and Undamming Rivers, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2022). Their work has been exhibited at numerous biennials and institutional exhibitions worldwide, including the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial, Venice, Italy (2014); 13th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (2017); Performa17, New York, USA (2017); Manifesta12, Palermo, Italy (2018); Los Angeles Public Art Triennial, Los Angeles, USA (2019); 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2019); Taipei Art Biennale, Taipei, Taiwan (2020) and Prospect 5, New Orleans, USA (2021). Cooking Sections was awarded the Special Prize at the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize and nominated for the 2021 Turner Prize and the Visible Award for socially-engaged practices. Pascual is the recipient of the 2020 Harvard GSD Wheelwright Prize for Being Shellfish.