Food

Telling tales around food

Laura says the responses were wide and varied

Laura says the responses were wide and varied  

German artist Laura Klatt is using her culinary skills to create public spaces in Bengaluru, a city which she feels has none.

For theatre artist Laura Klatt food has turned out to be a potent language to express herself. Back home in Berlin, where she has kickstarted an art collective Mixed Pickles, food is an integral part of her practice. And in Bengaluru where she has come to be part of Goethe Institut’s bangaloREsidency, she is setting up pop-up restaurants, inviting strangers for dinner and even sold potato salad cycling around the city. “I am searching for a multi-cultural language which is understood by all and I feel that it is possible to make contact through food. You can have conversations about it so easily. People go back to their childhood remembering the stories around food,” says Laura. And stories is what Laura uses food for.

Once Laura — who is being hosted by Sandbox Collective in the city, has garnered enough stories — a project titled ‘73,5060 minutes of Bangalore’ will emerge which will include a performance of dance and theatre plus a website. It will include all the tales, she collects while carrying out different activities in the city. Cycling around selling potato salad on Church Street and Ulsoor, Laura says she got an unexpected response. “I would tell people that they don’t need to pay me for this and they wouldn’t believe it. I told them give me something in return but not money. I told them you can give me stories and some insisted that I take at least Rs.10. Some liked the salad so much that they came back asking for more. Some shared Indian food recipes with me,” remembers Laura, who is also a trained chef. She adds how the experiment gave her a glimpse into a woman’s life in India.

Another intention is to create public spaces where people can meet and interact with each other. “One thing that I noticed about Bengaluru is the absence of public spaces. No benches for people to sit on. No pavements. People don’t walk either.” Her pop-up restaurant is also an endeavour in the same direction. Under the Wheeler Town flyover, Laura collaborated with Tobias Daemgen an acoustics and lights artiste — another bangaloREsident — and prepared some German delicacies for the community living in the area. But the vegetables and ingredients were brought locally and a few days before the restaurant came up, Laura visited the area to meet the shopkeepers and acquaint them with the project. Feeling confident with the response received, Laura is planning to do another pop-up restaurant at Wheeler Road on May 3 at 7 p.m. You are invited! But be sure that you go there with a story.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:34:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/Telling-tales-around-food/article14295547.ece

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