Harvest_Alexander COOSEMANS  Flanders 1627-1689  Still life c.1650  Oil on canvas  Bequest of The Hon. Thomas Lodge Murray Prior, MLC 1892 Collection Queensland Art GalleryThis winter, Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art presents Harvest – an exhibition and film program exploring food as a subject for contemporary art from 28 June.

The exhibition draws on the Gallery’s historical and contemporary collections to consider the social, political and aesthetic implications of food production, distribution and consumption.

“Food has long given sustenance to the artistic imagination – from the exotic foods and spices pictured in seventeenth-century northern European still-life paintings to contemporary artists’ renderings of global brands,” says Chris Saines, Director – Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).

“On entering the Gallery audiences will encounter a major new wallpaper commission from California-based artist duo Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young) whose public projects and site-specific installations work with fruit as a motif or material.”

“The relationship between food and art has never been so richly illustrated or explored than it will be in this exhibition. For food and art lovers alike, Harvest explores the Gallery’s Collection in a very different light.”

Consuming the entire ground floor of GOMA, Harvest is curated by the Gallery’s Assistant Curator of International Contemporary Art, Ellie Buttrose.

“It features more than 100 works including new acquisitions such as Mika Rottenberg’s video installation Mary’s cherries (2004), a fantastical comment on the absurdity of modern means of production and Yael Bartana’s photographs recreating imagined ‘lost’ images by Jewish-German photographers Leni and Herbert Sonnenfeld,” says Ms Buttrose.

Xu Zhen’s ShangART Supermarket (2008) recreates a fully stocked convenience store in the gallery space, while Aernout Mik’s video Pulverous (2003) shows a group of people fastidiously, often violently, demolishing the contents of a different kind of supermarket.

Also featured will be Rirkrit Tirvanija’s Untitled [lunch box] (2009), a fortnightly Thai lunch that four random Gallery visitors can sample, and Danish trio Superflex’s video documenting the inundation of a replica fast food restaurant in Flooded McDonald’s (2009).

Contemporary works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists included in the show trace ongoing connections between food, country, and cultural knowledge, such as Evelyn McGreen’s spirit basket linocuts and Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s yam dreaming paintings.

GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque will host a major cinema program in parallel with the exhibition. Harvest: Food on Film, curated by the Australian Cinémathèque’s Associate Curator, Rosie Hays, will explore the pleasures and politics of food, with stories that touch on cultural identity, deprivation, nourishment and the importance of the dinner table to human relations.

The film program serves up a range of cinematic fare, from Peter Greenaway’s much loved and wickedly sensuous The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989) and the spiritually nutritious Babette’s Feast (1987), to Morgan Spurlock’s biting gonzo doco Supersize Me (2004) and high-pressure competitive baking in Kings of Pastry (2010).

A recipe book-cum-exhibition catalogue will be published in association with Harvest, including essays by Gallery curators interspersed with stunning food photography and recipes from noted International and Australian chefs, among them René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s world-renowned Noma and Peter Gilmore of Sydney’s iconic Quay restaurant.


Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Stanley Place, Southbank (Brisbane)
Exhibition: 28 June – 21 September 2014
Free entry

For more information, visit: www.qagoma.qld.gov.au for details.

Image: Alexander Coosemans, Flanders 1627-1689, Still life c.1650, Oil on canvas, Bequest of The Hon. Thomas Lodge Murray Prior, MLC 1892 – Collection: Queensland Art Gallery