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2024

Food of War Collective Takes a Stand: Action at the Biennale

April 2024

The Food of War Collective, led by Omar Castaneda, Hernan Barros, and Andreina Fuentes Angarita, made a striking entrance into the Venice Biennale. Through a series of impactful protest-like actions, they captivated the city, offering a fresh perspective on the Biennale’s theme, «Foreigners Everywhere.»

The collective’s series of actions aimed to illuminate the diverse meanings of the term «foreigner» and underscore the necessity of including those compelled to migrate within this narrative.

Read in full for an explanation about each action:

Journey of Labels, video art piece:

The premiere of the video art piece «Journey of Labels» was one of the highlights of the Personal Structures Exhibition at Palazzo Bembo.

Offering a captivating testament to the transformative power of cultural fusion and imagination within our ever-evolving sociopolitical landscape. Watch the video by clicking here.

The highly anticipated Personal Structures exhibition will run until November 24, 2024 at Palazzo Bembo, providing ample time for visitors to immerse themselves in its captivating displays.

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On the early afternoon of April 19th, a series of banners adorned three iconic locations: Ponte degli Scalzi, Ponte Rialto, and Giardini della Biennale. Each banner bore stirring phrases and imagery deeply resonating with the theme of the Biennale and the current global landscape.

The first banner boldly proclaimed «EXPAT, IMMIGRANT, REFUGEE?» encouraging viewers to contemplate the power of language and classification in perpetuating division. It prompted reflection on the inherently migratory nature of humanity, reminding observers that, essentially, everyone is a stranger in a foreign land.

Meanwhile, the second banner, inscribed with the words «DEMOCRACIA, POR ELECCIONES JUSTAS, LIBRES Y TRANSPARENTES,» served as a battle cry for justice and progress in the face of autocratic regimes worldwide. It stood as a testament to the enduring spirit of protest and the pursuit of democratic ideals.

These thought-provoking displays epitomized the transformative essence of art, challenging established norms, and beckoning viewers to reconsider the status quo. They served as a powerful reminder of our inherent right to dissent, inviting both audience and community alike to reimagine and reshape existing structures for a better tomorrow.

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The Migration Public Poem:

On two separate performances, one on the 19 (Food of War) and one on the 20 (Refugees Welcome & Food of War) of April, participants experienced a visionary reinterpretation of Alain Arias Misson’s renowned public poem series. Volunteers maneuvered life-sized letters, meticulously spelling out the words «EXPAT, IMMIGRANT, REFUGEE.» This innovative approach to showcasing typographic artwork embraced the public and urban spheres as boundless exhibition spaces, transcending conventional boundaries.

All participants gathered in front of Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, walked through Rialto, Piazza San Marco, and concluded in Giardini della Biennale.

As the poem oscillated between moments of movement and stillness, it symbolized the ever-present yet fleeting nature of the migration crisis, a pervasive force shaping conflicts in contemporary society.

Performers donned the iconic rabbit masks of Food of War, infusing the atmosphere with an eerie sensation reminiscent of the collective’s distinctive artistic style.

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