TABLE AND HEXAGON
MAM - São Paulo Museum of Modern Art ( 2012 )
With chef Alex Atala)
This happening in partnership with chef Alex Atala, was presented at in 2012. “Mesa e Hexagono” (Table and Hexagon) was developed during the preparation, live, of varied symbolic dishes, alluding to a ritual based on the alchemic process “Nigredo-Albedo-Rubedo”, and then served to a public of approximately fifty people. Techniques such as painting, carving, and sculpting were brought to the performance scope, allied with the food preparation and intake ritualization.
Nigredo, the darkness
Nigredo or “blackening” represents the beginning of the alchemical transformation process, also related to death, the night, and the putrefaction of the matter. At this stage monkfish sashimi was served with black sauce. The symbolism associated with the depths of the sea and death was evoked in the choice of an abysmal waters-dweller, and in the skull the artist silk-screen printed on the sauce.
Rubedo, the incarnation
Rubedo represents the flesh and the incarnation, the human passion, blood, and heat. Pieces of raw meat were stamped with a metal object heated in coal, like cattle branding. The burning process of the meat, a symbol of balance, accentuated the heat, and the scent of the food, as smoke permeated the space.
Large pieces of flat bread painted with chilli sauce showed some of the main icons of the artist’s presentation. Wrapping up the Rubedo period, a mushroom consommé was served, referring to a shamanic ceremony. The sacred mushrooms are also known as “carne de los dioses” (meat of the gods) in many places in Latin America.
Albedo, the illumination
Pieces of rice paper printed like hosts and blotters soaked in “jambú cachaça”(jambu sugar cane brandy) were served. “Jambú” is an herb from the Amazon that causes a prickly sensation on the roof of the mouth and lips, similar to the feeling induced in ritualistic techniques, which induce the same, through hyper-oxygenation of the blood.