POTATOPHONY AS CACOPHONY OF THE WORLD - starting on 11th of August at 16.30 hrs
OPENING ON 11TH of AUGUST
Time: from 16.30 till 18.30
Location: Pretorialaan 4b, Rotterdam
POTATOPHONY AS CACOPHONY OF THYE WORLD
by Zoë D. Cochia (RO/NL) & Eszter Ágnes Szabó (HU)
Zoë D. Cochia – artist and founder of Niffo Gallery/ Recycle Studio based in Rotterdam - had invited this summer the Hungarian artist Eszter Ágnes Szabó to co-create a visionary, spontaneous project. The roots of this adventure have a deep foundation: the holistic, social nature of Niffo Gallery, the past events which took place here regarding the importance of the potato as an universal representative for the human spieces, but also the multidisciplinary background of Eszter Ágnes Szabó and her social involvement in the art scene.
We used scraps of fabrics that we got over the years from fashion designer Michael van der Meide, second-hand t-shirts - some already painted by the youngsters/ kids of Niffo, some coming from the second-hand shop across the street -, but also a big amount of material created by the ’niffo’s’ at the gallery (niffo means in slang nephew).
During this periode we worked as well on potatoes on mosaic - together with Michiel Brink - in preparations for a potato wall nearby.
After two intensive weeks we agreed on a name for this project: ’Potatophony as cacophony of the world’.....because.....
- The potato is an edible tuber of a plant that is eaten a lot in the Netherlands, not only by the immigrant Dutch, but also by the native Dutch - baked or cooked – in all kinds of shapes. Food – with an extra wink, in the form of art and performances – is an eternal factor of making connections and showing more understanding towards each other. The potato stand, together with art, in first place when it comes to public food or public art.
- Potatoes are also the subjects and a sources of inspiration for artists, leading to art in various forms. Countless songs, poems and stories have been written about it; paintings made over it; theatrical plays and films produced about it; in short: the potato occurs in all disciplines.
- The potato embodies almost every element of migration. From the beginnings of colonization to settlement to spread and indispensability. The potato is a symbol that everyone in the world can understand. A seemingly featureless tuber, which is unremarkable, yet it is one of the most important foods.
- With climate change, our food also changing, and potatoes are one of the most sensitive to change. Potatoes can therefore also be a symbol of climate change, which is why they can also be on our t-shirts. An icon that symbolizes change: the vulnerable natural environment, the difference that seems to be the same, because no two potatoes are the same.
Our collection is about the exchange of values. Louise Vuitton, which stands for social prestige, is replaced by potatoes, which represent life and concern for the future.
- All elements of our t-shirt collection are recycled, giving also space to children and youngsters who are part of the migration and are trying hard to find a home.If we honestly think about our lives, we recognize the potato in us, which is unique and unrepeatable in the large crowd. That’s why potatoes can symbolically be the subject of an art event, again and again.
Our project fits in a neighborhood like Afrikaanderwijk - a multicultural area with a majority of migrants and fits definitely in the space of Niffo gallery & Recycle Studio
The visitors will experience a journey of discovery through a wide variety of stories. Because potatoes are associated/ related to humans in all aspects of the culture, revealing an origin story in the past, but also divulging the truth of the present and anticipating the future. All these stories behind clothes are a treasure when we talk about heritage and identity.