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An Enchanted Break


Cristina Lavosi

Artist selected as part of the open call

3159 Rue de la Violette

Inviting to look though a lifeless, sterile reproduction of a dry-stone wall, the work offers a glimpse of a magic-realist scene set in an uncanny community kitchen. Three characters cooking cheese together, with odd tools and eccentric clothing, appear not to belong to a precise time. These otherworldly images hint at a proposed strategy for refusing capitalist production systems and challenging neoliberal isolation. Home-cheesemaking transforms into a collective practice of resistance, fostering communalisation of everyday production work. Looking at cooking as a quotidian labour of production and at eating as an act of breaking the boundaries between human and more-than-human world, the work wants to articulate the urgency of overcoming the separation between political practice and the acts of production of life. A metaphorical boundary is also quite literally broken by cutting a hole into the dry-stone wall, a structure used, particularly in the Mediterranean area, to delimit private property. The installation aims at suggesting the role that conviviality and work-sharing—as opposed to isolation and private property—must have in the construction of a desirable common futurity. A collective endeavour in which the more-than-human, like cheese and its bacteria, becomes an active agent for multiplicity and contamination. Milk flows through political life, its technological processing an emblem of modern ideas of separation and purity, ultimately mirroring visions on how we ought to live with one another.

The production of the artwork unfolded through a series of collaborations with: Chongjin Chen for the dry-stone wall, Cristiana Vignatelli Bruni for ceramic props, Esther van der Heijden for costumes, Lu Lin, Yusser Salih, and Ulufer Çelik for the performance.