February 5, 2013 | CASE STUDY - EXHIBITING

The Food Series


The Complex Social Change research program largely arose from a project that the six lead researchers had previously worked together on called, the Food series (Sept. – Dec, 2011). Through a Liberal Education course, three exhibitions and a public-site performance for the art gallery, a dance program, and a speaker’s series, the series addresses social and cultural issues related to food production, supply and consumption. The Food series exceeded the groups expectations: all the events were well attended with sold out shows for the dance program and packed receptions at the art gallery; the level of discussion in the classes they taught was exceptional as students built connections between the many components of the project and their course material; and the group was excited about the rich conversations they had about the social and cultural aspects of food.

Given the essential role that food plays in our lives as sustenance and as part of social and economic systems, it has been a common subject for artists to explore in their work. With the major changes in recent decades in the application of scientific processes and the relationship between individuals and corporations involved with food production and distribution, there have been heated debate and volumes of research on this aspect of food. Artists have engaged with this timely and important topic in many ways. Some take the role of activist and clearly critique genetic modification or the corporatization of agricultural production. Others explore the fascinating imagery, complex emotions, and confident assertions of authority and certainty posed by corporations and scientific discourses that emerge within, and are part of, these debates.

11greenthumbheader01 copyGreen Thumb

June 16 – September 8, 2011
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
Curated by Jane Edmundson

Opening the Food series, this exhibition from the U of L collection will include a selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures depicting vegetation both wild and tamed. Artists: Raoul Dufy, Gathie Falk, Gershon Iskowitz, Tony Urquhart and others.

Read the full curatorial statement [here]

11cerealmainheader02 copyCereal Gen

Lyndal Osborne and Alex Moon

September 15 – October 24, 2011
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
Curated by Josephine Mills and Jane Edmundson

Consisting of detailed installations that play with the forms and technology from scientific laboratories, Cereal Gen includes recent work by two Alberta artists and focuses on social and economic issues related to seed production and farming.

Read the full description [here]

11importantthingsheader copy

The Important Things to Know About Eating and Drinking (In Lethbridge)

Dodolab (Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter)

October 1 – October 6, 2011
Public-site project

Dodolab completed their polling on the University of Lethbridge campus and now have the results for “The Not Quite Famous Lethbridge Pizza”. They surveyed over 700 people across campus and the winning combinations were Bison and Corn and Potato and Sage. They served the results to 400 people on campus and distributed their special food advice/cookbook as well. Some of the other interesting replies to their survey included requests for rattlesnake and pronghorn and the oft repeated comment that “A Lethbridge pizza would have nothing on it as the wind would blow off all of the toppings!”

While the project was fun and full of good humour, it was designed to solicit dialogue and conversations with the campus community about food issues including local foods, food industry and the challenges for students in accessing healthy foods on campus.

View more images from the project [here]

11lionsshareheader03The Lions Share

Rita McKeough

November 3, 2011 – January 5, 2012
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery

Commissioned for the Food series, Calgary-based artist Rita McKeough created a mock restaurant in the gallery with found and constructed objects, kinetics and sound. This exhibition used a humorous and dream-like scenario to raise questions about the complexities of our relationship to eating animals.

Read more about The Lions Share [here]

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