Food Performance Residency

Thu, 12/07/2018 - 05:11 -- eyeline

Artists, artivists, activists, designers, gastronomes and creators are invited to apply for a food performance residency in Italy.

As a prime element of contemporary society, today, food has a privileged role which was once dominated by fashion, and which is strictly bound to the body. Food has taken on a strong centrality within the contemporary psyche, involving the most intimate sphere of our body, passing through it, becoming a visceral part of us, every day.

From this premise and these experimentations, Zona Franca was created in 2014, a transdisciplinary project that explores a wide variety of research forms between art and economics. It's both a restaurant, a gourmet take-away, during the day, and also a performance space in the evening. It's a hybrid space, which is in continuous transformation, where ancient seeds are the metaphor of a project and are the essence of the philosophy that keeps it alive. Various rare varieties that aren't included in the European register of regulated seeds are used. Once these are transformed, however, they become legal food. Therefore, ancient seeds circulate in an interstice which is not fully regulated, which takes advantage of the shadows and folds of the market. They lie in between legality and transgression, just like a dark pool.

Food Artivism

Occupy the kitchen! is a food artivism project where contemporary practices that are connected to art and economics are explored through food. This activity – of research and production – is carried out through a transdisciplinary approach and an activist attitude.
The project examines the exchanges, cross references and the osmotic ad/or conflicting relationships between the global economy and contemporary art, using food as an expressive medium and investigative field.

Occupy the kitchen! highlights the tangible consequences (primarily in health, society and the environment) with actions that are intended to generate individual critical thinking concerning the Food system. The purpose is to generate greater awareness and, consequently, a collective action concerning food sovereignty.

Occupy the kitchen! is therefore an area of experimentation and activism. It strives to be a place where reflection can become action, examining and expanding post-modern consumer awareness through art and food. The purpose of this project is to reawaken and energize minds and mouths.

The project pays homage to 'Occupy Management!', the book by Monika Kostera, a Management lecturer for various European universities (in Poland, the UK and Sweden) and historical collaborator of Zygmunt Bauman. In the book, the author invites students to self-produce and also to self-manage their own lives.

Call for Applications

Ideal for professionals who – firstly – feel committed to the philosophy and vision of Occupy the kitchen! project, who wish to do a residency of one week in order to realise a food performance at Zona Franca art space during the 2018/2019 season (September 2018 – June 2019).

The dinner-performances at Zona Franca are performed by creators that have chosen food as a research focus and are interested in examining it through live artistic performances. The creators are present, creating dishes (a tailor-made menu for each evening and performance is created), directly manipulating matter, then distributing the dishes to the clientele-public and telling a story about peculiar hot issues of the Food system through food.

The transversal principle of Occupy the kitchen! performances and cultural events is the intention to trigger critical thinking and discussion around acts associated with food, consumer choices, awareness of the system of large retailers, and all of the area of actions and values that we associate with food and activate around it. With the intention of reflecting upon concepts of globalization and capitalism that are closely connected to the phenomenon of compulsive consumerism, the second live season of food performances at Zona Franca will be inaugurated.


The call is addressed to artists, artivists, activists, designers, gastronomes and creators, with the following characteristics:

Those who have conducted, or who are conducting, or would like to conduct research – or create a performance – reflecting on contemporary issues concerning food, the relationship between people and food, and the relationship between humans analyzed through food.
In particular, professionals who examine consumer practices within the global Food market through art, economies, social-anthropological relationships that are created around food and through food, the effects of contemporary social discomfort, the issues of food sovereignty and eating disorders.
Any creator that wants to think about and make people think about the semiotics, proxemics, and social, anthropological – but also and above all – economical aspects that create, pass through, define and bind food to contemporary society.

Professionals whose approach is both active and activist, progressive, drawn towards highlighting those fertile folds in the economy of the food market, its industrial production, targeted consumerism, and the social and environmental pitfalls of these systems acting both on a global and local scale.

The selected creators will be called to a hands-on approach, getting their hands dirty in the kitchen and dealing with the public/clientele. The direct involvement of the creators is a fundamental prerequisite to the Occupy the kitchen! project.


4 creators will be selected through the evaluation of the 4 best performance proposals. The results will be published on Zona Franca and Occupy the kitchen! websites by 31 August and the selected artist will be contacted via e-mail.
Performances will be planned (according to the availability of the artists) within the Occupy the kitchen! vol. 2 calendar, which will be from September 2018 to June 2019. The selected artists will be asked to create a performance at Zona Franca, Varese, on a date to be agreed with Management. The performances will take place once a month.

Applications due 31 July 2018. Apply Here

For more information or enquiries, visit