"Eat Art ": The French cheese culture at Art Basel
Many artists including Antoni Miralda, Dorothée Selz, and Joan Jaume Xifra Rabascall embrace this concept.
In Miami, from the 6th to the 8th of December 2013, while the Art Basel Fair was in full swing, two major figures of the movement were
present: the Spanish multidisciplinary artist Toni Miralda who lives and works between Barcelona and Miami and Dorothée Selz, known as the "Eat Art" baby that came for the occasion directly from Paris.
For "The Cheeses of France", both had set up works of very large sizes.
As she had done for other occasions such as the inauguration of the reopening of the National Gallery Jeu de Paume in 1993 or for the inauguration of Cité de la Musique in 1995, Dorothée Selz made unique edible ephemeral sculptures for "Eat Art" Miami.
The spheres created have been designed as an "enchanting experience" which blends sculpture and taste.
They also have a magic touch "exciting the senses." The goal, she says, is that guests keep in memory a very special artistic experience ... a culinary performance of art.
For these three days dedicated to French cheeses, Antoni Miralda had opted for a map of France of more than 5 meters by 3 meters with an array of nearly 100 plates of different colors with the name of a cheese written down, each name handwritten.
As stated by the artist, the number of plates is much smaller than the current number of cheeses existing in the country, France having a total of more than 1200 cheeses!
It is nevertheless a tribute from the artist to the country whose dairy product became an emblem and a beautiful inventory to their equally gastronomic and cultural rich heritage.
In this space standing in the heart of Wynwood dedicated to the art of cheese, as done by Daniel Spoerri in 1961 in Copenhagen, the gallery was also converted into a "grocery store", where guests could buy on the spot many varieties of cheeses such as Roquefort, Comte, goat cheese, and also butters.
Many french producers have been seduced by this renewed "Eat Art"
concept on the occasion of the great annual fair of contemporary art in Miami.
Diane Sauvage, in charge of the American branch of the company Interval is one of those to have taken the path to win the Art Basel bet.
She explains in this article why she chose to follow the lead of the structure Sopexa responsible for organizing this event.
- Ms. Sauvage, hello, you represent the company Interval in New York.
Can you first introduce this organization to our readers?
Interval is the exportation department of a dozen French dairies that are generally too small to have their own exportation department but sufficiently strong to export services.
We represent a number of dairies like Guilloteau, Laita, Livradois, Sevre et Belle, Fromagerie Arnaud, Agour, Haxaire, Gabriel Coulet, Tournette, y Beillevaire, among others.
- Why did you choose to participate in this unique operation that takes place during the very busy days of Art Basel?
We have chosen to participate in order to highlight French cheeses made from cow milk, to show that they can be incorporated in all American recipes (Mimolette or county in mac and cheese, Morbier or Raclette in grilled cheese, etc), to make French cheese more accessible to Americans, giving way to an explanation of their origin and history.
- Do you think your target is reached, did the food products you represent gain notoriety with consumers?
The goal is fully achieved; we had over 8,000 visitors and were able to share our cheeses.
- What are the next projects you are thinking about and of course, do you think about repeating the operation in 2014 in collaboration, if appropriate, with Sopexa?
We are considering the different programs proposed by the Sopexa FFS and SIAL Canada.
We are also keeping them in mind to help us promote our cheeses in medium-end supermarkets which is a very specific target.
Article published December 13, 2013.