During this residency, Inês Neto Dos Santos expanded on her ongoing research concerning the values of food in a community context and its potential for togetherness. The starting point for this research was an understanding of food as a global language, something that binds and connects us at its most basic function. And as food sustains us, it also acts as a reflection of our habits, beliefs (on an individual level) and cultural identity (on a wider scale). This research had previously taken many forms: including collaborative workshops, performances and dinners as primary sources, as well as an investigation into writings, publications and food-related art and design practices.

With this in mind, Inês explored the dining table as a platform for conversation and making. While in Porto, she focused particularly on the immediate surroundings of the Illustration School (Bonfim): the neighbourhood and its people, small shops and daily habits. Aiming to understand the continuous change the city has undergone and what that means for the locals, she used food as a visual and tactile language to tell stories and ask questions. Food was proposed as a fundamental illustrative practice of our everyday life and, therefore, a powerful tool for discussion, critique and intervention. This investigation took shape in a series of two dinners.

The residency dinners, open to the public, worked as narrative meals and non-linear sensorial maps of Inês’ experience in the city and the local neighbourhood. Through flavours, textures, colours and smells, Inês navigated through local stories – real and imagined –, asking questions such as: How can food connect (or re-connect) us to who/where we are? Can it give us the tools to speak our mind? Can it help us to understand or drive change (i.e. social, cultural, etc)? Can it help us grasp, question or defy
our surroundings?

This investigation was documented by Uncanny Editions with the goal of producing a limited edition recipe book illustrating this research.

The launch took place on the 18th July 2081 at época, Porto, Portugal

Inês Neto dos Santos is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Lisbon (1992) and based in London – where she completed an MA in Visual Communication at Royal College of Art (2016) and a BA in Graphic and Media Design and Illustration at London College of Communication (2013). Her work moves between performance and installation, and stands upon collaboration and conversation. Her practice uses food, people and spaces to question our surroundings, propose new exchanges and discussions and investigates food’s endless potential for togetherness. She has worked and exhibited across Portugal, Spain, UK and Greece. Inês founded Mesa, a project that exists in the form of various eating experiences and supper clubs, which challenge our encounters with art, working as platforms for creative discussion and conversation.

Colophon, Bonfim
Date, 2018
Design & editing, Uncanny Editions
Printing, RISO
Binding, Alfaiate do Livro
Sponsors (dinners), Pão da Terra, Terraplana
and Bio em Casa
Residency, Illustration.School
Rua Coutinho de Azevedo, 22
4000-187 Porto, Portugal
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