Talk: Saturday, February 16 from 1pm to 3pm
Please join Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery in a discussion about To Eat or Not to Eat with curator, Maria Karametou and participating artists, Elsabe Dixon and Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin.
Maria Karametou’s work focuses on the complex relationship of nutrition and its healing as well as destructive influence upon our lives, and continues her investigation of the impact our changing world has on food production and consumption. On the one hand, we have increasingly turned towards ecologically grown, organic or natural products and returned to the restorative powers of healthy eating. On the other hand, in an effort to manage hectic schedules within our ever-shifting global environment, we regularly indulge in over-processed, “improved” and chemically flavored products that flood our markets offering options unheard of even a decade ago. Growing up in Greece and accustomed to a Mediterranean diet rich in garlic, fish, and olive oil, Karametou reflects upon the differences between gathering herbs and teas from the mountainsides with her mother, to the ways we package and consume our foodstuff today. Working with herbs and garlic alongside other staples, her mixed media works investigate how we relate to this dichotomy and react to our digital-age packaging and eating habits.
Elsabe Dixon’s work is socially based, and her research involves “ancient” crafts (sericulture, apiculture and more recently the craft of baking as it relates to ritual and cross species affinity with systems such as found in the honeybee hive). Dixon’s sculptures are placed in live beehives for wax construction in collaboration with bees. The sensory interaction with wheat and beeswax as construction material, in conjunction with the ancient smell of honey conjures up psychological resilience and deep memory. Through community “kneading” workshops and community recipe exchanges, local audiences would participate in the ritual of kneading bread dough, oral histories pertaining to bread and honey, as well as collaboratively preparing a sculpture for baking. The sculptures are ephemeral and will break down or be eaten over time and serve as reminders of our post-contemporary food interactions.
Fabiola Yurcisin’s work explores corn using both its anthropological and its immigrant symbology. Originally from Mexico, Yurcisin seeks to contextualize the history of corn and create a conversation with the symbols associated with the Hispanic immigrant communities in the US. She is looking to uncover the sacred and the ordinary of corn and more specifically of the “tortilla”. In a series of photographs, she will document symbols and imagery that interpret the joy and the complexities of how food travels in history and is carried across borders.Each tortilla will be stamped with messages of hope and healing before they are cooked. Yurcisin invites us all to consider the deeper meaning food has in our lives.
The Joan Hisaoka Gallery is located at 1632 U Street NW.