Milan 2011: London interior designers and stylists Studio Toogood invited food and design collective Arabeschi di Latte to serve black food to guests at midnight dinners in a darkened apartment in Milan last week.
Waitresses at the Underkitchen dinners wore perspex headpieces designed by Faye Toogood with milliner Zara Gorman and food included cheese served on coal, burned artichokes, bread dyed with squid ink and eggs cooked in black tea.
Erotic drawings by Italian artist Piero Fornasetti (1913 - 1988) were displayed alongside still life images of the food by photographer Marius W Hansen.
Called Natura Morta (dead nature), the installation at Erastudio Apartment Gallery presented Toogood's second furniture collection, Assemblage 2 (more details to follow).
The following details are from Studio Toogood:
A project by Studio Toogood featuring Underkitchen by Arabeschi di Latte
Erastudio Apartment Gallery,Via Palermo 5, Milano Tuesday 12th – Saturday 16th April 2011 3pm – 7pm
Natura Morta, the Italian term for“still life”, literally translates as “dead nature”. The outsized still lifes showcased in this provocative exhibition, which are composed from an abstract collection of hand-made and found objects, celebrate the darker side of the natural world.
Adding to the air of the subversive, Natura Morta is being held in a private apartment, where Toogood will be launching its second collection of objects: Assemblage 2. These striking pieces will be displayed alongside erotic drawings from the archive of Piero Fornasetti.
During this exhibition, Arabeschi di Latte presents a series of private midnight dinners as part of the Underkitchen project. Guests will be invited to taste simple but intriguing combinations of black food served by waitresses dressed by StudioToogood.
Toogood launches Assemblage 2.
By replacing the delicate sycamore, brass and Portland stone found in Toogood’s first collection with more elemental materials, Assemblage 2 seeks to reinterpret its clean geometric forms.
Made using leather, sand-cast aluminium, melted pewter, bronze, wax and resin, Assemblage 2 promises to be altogether more unyielding, elemental and visceral.
Zara Gorman for Toogood
In the dark shadows of the private midnight dinners, guests will encounter waitresses wearing a collection of headpieces designed specifically for the Natura Morta event. Working collaboratively, Zara Gorman and Faye Toogood have created a collection of six sculptural pieces that reflect the fierce and powerful nature of the exhibition.
Zara Gorman says,“My work is inspired by the lines and contours found within architecture and product design. I am also interested in exploring how texture and tone can be achieved by using a single colour, most recently black. I enjoy working with materials not commonly associated with traditional millinery, ranging from Perspex to wood and leather, and love the creative challenge that these represent. My influences vary, and range from the work of Serge Lutens through to the mechanisms of Venetian blinds, the layout of contour maps, and Japanese architecture and design.”
There will be an exclusive display of some of Piero Fornasetti’s Erotica series (69 drawings, India ink on paper, 1945) at Natura Morta.
These drawings, like many others, were produced during the period Fornasetti spent in Deitingen, Switzerland, fleeing the war. Many years later, in 1973, he had the idea for a book, Elogium Mentulae (In Praise of the Penis), which led him to complete the series with more drawings.This book was never completed as he failed to find a publisher courageous enough to take it on.
Filled with a sense of humour, cleverness and a taste for the surreal, Fornasetti took pleasure in investigating, laying bare and transfiguring sexual organs, imagining them as fantastic beings, creatures from some dreamy bestiary – a catalogue of creations that fascinate, awaken curiosity and inspire fear.
Marius W Hansen for Toogood and Underkitchen
Working under the creative direction of Faye Toogood and incorporating beautifully abstract food styling by Francesca Sarti, photographer Marius W Hansen has composed a series of powerful and provocative still lifes that react to the dark alchemy behind Natura Morta and Underkitchen.The images will be printed in Issue 1 of the Underkitchen publication.
Norwegian-born Marius W Hansen lives and works in London. After completing his BA in Photography atThe Surrey Institute ofArt and Design in 2002,he quickly established himself as a leading London photographer. He has worked with magazines such as Arena Homme Plus, Fantastic Man,The Gentlewoman, GQ Style, i-D, POP, Vogue and Wallpaper. His work is in private collections, and featured in the shows Fashion Photography Now (2008), Küba: Journey Against the Current commissioned by T-B A21, and the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in London. His clients include Bally, Coca-Cola, EMI, Eurostar, Harrods, Hermès, Levi’s, Nike, Nokia, Sky,Vodafone,Time Out and Amnesty International. He has photographed numerous personalities, such as Antony Hegarty, Cerith Wyn Evans, Paul Smith, Sebastien Tellier,Tori Amos and Vivienne Westwood. He is represented by Zphotographic Ltd.
Underkitchen by Arabeschi di Latte
Underkitchen, the brainchild of Francesca Sarti – founder of the food design collective Arabeschi di Latte – is a new project set up to reveal the hidden, subtle and abstract nature behind food and hospitality.Telling unexpected stories using powerful combinations of ingredients and compositions, the project not only wishes to blur the boundaries between food and design, but to create an open platform for food-related collaborations.
At Natura Morta, Underkitchen’s darker side can be experienced via a series of midnight dinners prepared by Annette Weber under the motto:“At midnight the core comes alive”. Simple but intriguing ingredients include eggs dyed in tea, spices that appear as giant marbles, black rocks formed out of cheese rolled in coal, a rustic dessert made from black bread soaked in water and dark sugar, and artichoke flowers carbonised to black on the balcony of the gallery.
For this occasion Arabeschi di Latte has also printed the first issue of Underkitchen, an experimental publication dedicated to food. Designed by graphic designer Alessandro Gori of Laboratorium, it features images, texts, recipes, and photography realised for the Natura Morta exhibition by photographer Marius W Hansen, alongside contributions by Pier Luigi,Tazzi, Sissi, Jirayu Rengjaras, Jennifer Boles and Milovan Farronato for Fiorucci Art Trust.
For the midnight dinners, the champagne is kindly provided by Perrier-Jouët, beer by 32 Via dei Birrai, cheese by Luigi Guffanti, eggs by La Vigna Azienda Agricola, Artichokes by Agricola Regiroli and tea by Dammann Frères.
Arabeschi di Latte is an Italian food design collective which has created and exhibited a variety of food-related projects such us pop-up cafés, eating events and workshops. In 2011 Arabeschi di Latte celebrates its tenth anniversary.
Erastudio Apartment Gallery
Erastudio Apartment Gallery derives from architect Patrizia Tenti’s personal passion for the research of fashion, art and design.This passion has developed and matured through her work as an architect for international fashion brands.
The Apartment Gallery is a house, studio and gallery integrated into one fluid space in an early 18th-century building.The classic layout of a Milanese apartment – a succession of rooms off a corridor – has been kept to provide the ideal deconstructed layout for a gallery.The organic pureness of the space – a non-place – is open to change and different activities, and therefore remains alive and pulsating.
Era: as past, as epoch, as intelligence.
The gallery opened during Milan Design Week in April 2010, creating an environment where three different areas – art, design and fashion – can live together and reflect the same idea: unique pieces produced in limited edition.
At Erastudio you can find unique pieces of historical design by the likes of Albini, Sarfatti and Borsani, set alongside re-edited unknown brands and contemporary limited-edition pieces by designers such as Ernst Gamperl. Special and limited-edition items have been created by new, cutting-edge fashion designers and sold exclusively at the gallery.
During Fuori Salone, Erastudio Apartment Gallery will collaborate with Studio Toogood for the Natura Morta exhibition and will put on sale until the end of May a selection of erotic prints from the Barnaba Fornasetti collection by Piero Fornasetti.
SPECIAL THANKS to DJ Barnaba Fornasetti, DJ Lele Saveri, DJ Natalia Resmini and DJ David Casini