A Matter of Taste Chapter V.

This chapter of A Matter of Taste ruminates on the objects and subjects of care, radical hospitality and mutuality. Each artist in this chapter shares in an exchange, whether of ideas or physical goods, to interrogate our relationship to one another, and to food, across communities, cultures, oceans and screens.
 
In Chapter V.
This chapter of A Matter of Taste ruminates on the objects and subjects of care, radical hospitality and mutuality. Each artist in this chapter shares in an exchange, whether of ideas or physical goods, to interrogate our relationship to one another, and to food, across communities, cultures, oceans and screens.
In Chapter V.

CURRENTLY VIEWING: Table for two (2020) Juliane Foronda
CURRENTLY VIEWING: Table for two (2020)
Juliane Foronda
Table for two
Juliane Foronda
Glasgow, UK

In Table for two, Foronda uses recipe cards as postcards to catalogue and archive her daily experiences of and thoughts on the politics and possibilities surrounding food. Each handwritten recipe card was posted from her home in Glasgow to the curator’s home in Tkaronto over the course of 33 days.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

19.06.2020

I’ve been cooking Filipino food a lot lately and it feels so grounding. I’ve also started calling mom while making dinner which is probably my long winded way of telling her that I miss her. And conversation always flows best when it’s centered around food. I love when my flat smells like (my childhood) home.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

22.06.2020

Food feels like an extension of my being, and also somehow like the most honest part about me.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

24.06.2020

There’s something so satisfying with the (perhaps unconscious) ritual of catering meals to the weather. Last night, I made a big pot of arroz caldo for dinner cause it was raining. But I think there’s also this rebellious comfort about cooking foods regardless of the weather or your surroundings, but rather because you love and crave it. (Today is sunny and I’m even more eager to have the leftovers). I lean into both sentiments equally.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

25.06.2020

A phrase that continues to occupy my headspace comes from a handwritten shortbread recipe that I came across in the GWL archives last year. She reads: “bake in very slow oven.” As if temperature and time are the same. As if pace alone is enough. As if that instruction is sufficient. As if any of this really matters.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

27.06.2020

I’ve been practicing baking sourdough bread for a while now, and I think that I’ve finally gotten alright at it. Our dutch oven is just slightly too small to fit a full recipe in without her overflowing, so I tried splitting her up. Today I made two loaves, and the smaller one is roughly the size of my right hand. Sourdough gives me a sense of purpose and accountability. It’s also been teaching me what it means to be patient, and I’m reminded of how non-linear the process of patience is each time I bake. It’s nice when I’m able to correlate the scale of my food to parts of my body.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

29.06.2020

I am convinced that the best recipes are our memories.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

03.07.2020

I like to think that the strongest evidence that I’m a Taurus is how frequently good food occupies my headspace rather than how stubborn I am.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

06.07.2020

I sometimes wonder if my cooking is as distinct as my penwomanship supposedly is. They’re both conceived through my hands quite instinctively, so there must be a connection, right?

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

09.07.2020

Sometimes I wonder if my affinity for baking bread is related to how much kneading seems to help relieve my anxiety. It’s nice being reminded of how many ways food can really heal us.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

10.07.2020

Sharing a meal can sometimes offer us a better understanding beyond what the limits of conventional language may allow.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

14.07.2020

Few things taste better than when they’re eaten with a spoon and fork, just like it’s done at my family’s dining table.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

15.07.2020

It’s my dad’s birthday today. In the Philippines, it’s tradition to eat noodles on your birthday as it symbolizes a long life. My mom said that she’d make Filipino spaghetti for dinner and I think that counts. Maybe if I do the same, it won’t feel like I’m as far away.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

16.07.2020

I have a scoop of pistachio gelato at least once a year, often at sunset, in honour of L. It almost feels wrong to have it any other way.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

21.07.2020

I took for granted how special it was that my family always made it a priority to eat our meals together when I was growing up. I wish I made a bigger effort then, because all I want now is to be able to sit around the table with them enjoying my mom’s cooking.

 
Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020 Juliane Foronda for Koffler.Digital 2020

22.07.2020

Food occupies the space between us.

 
Juliane Foronda Juliane Foronda is a Filipina-Canadian artist, organiser and writer whose work is invested in the tradition of preservation from a feminist perspective. Predominantly through sculpture, object, intervention and text, her practice considers the structures, labour, care and intimacy associated with built environments. She received her MA in Fine Arts from Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland University of the Arts), and holds a BA in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. Juliane is currently based in Glasgow, Scotland where she has been undertaking independent research on feminist hospitality at Glasgow Women’s Library.
 
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CURRENTLY VIEWING: Caribou: A Lesson in Five Parts (2020) Kosisochukwu Nnebe
CURRENTLY VIEWING: Caribou: A Lesson in Five Parts (2020)
Kosisochukwu Nnebe
Caribou: A Lesson in Five Parts
Kosisochukwu Nnebe
Ottawa, ON

A young Black woman navigates her identity as a settler on Turtle Island, first as a federal government official and later as the curator of They Forgot That We Were Seeds, a 2020 exhibition at the Carleton University Art Gallery bringing together eight Black and Indigenous women around the theme of food.

 
FIRST

The first time I try caribou, I’m at a national engagement session organized by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in downtown Ottawa. I’m sitting at a table with government officials and the moderator has just corrected one of us for taking up too much space in the discussion. She tells us that us colonizers (said in Inuktitut) must stay quiet in these moments. I look around the table, at colleagues from various federal departments seated beside me and clustered together at two or three other tables, then across the room at the Inuit who had flown in from all four regions of Inuit Nunangat for the gathering. We are two Black women representing the federal government, and, yet, for the first time, lines have been drawn and I’m on the side of the oppressor.

 

At lunch, the hotel staff bring out country food – arctic char, muktuk and frozen caribou – on pieces of cardboard. There is excitement and commotion as soon as the cardboard is brought out, and I look on in confusion, unable, initially, to discern what is being served. A colleague beside me explains how difficult it had been to get the hotel to allow us to serve wild food as part of the event, how ITK had had to push for it to be included on the menu. From my seat at the table, I watch as all the Inuit attendees rush to the table where the various wild foods are laid out with, to my surprise, bottles of soy sauce.

 

Later, standing at the outskirts of the hall, I watch as the meat is parsed out; there is an energy in the room that had not been there earlier and the feeling of being an intruder hits me all at once – a subtle sensation of discomfort that wraps onto itself, into an intricate knot that settles deeper and deeper in my chest with every passing moment. An Inuk woman catches my eye and heads in my direction. Standing in front of me, she leans forward to whisper, with a slight hint of a mischievous tone: “It’s best if you try it with the soy sauce.” I smile shyly and walk over to the table with her.

 
The arctic char feels familiar on my tongue – it reminds me slightly of the stock fish that my mom would use in her yam porridge, that I would painstakingly fish from the still hot dutch oven and place into my own bowl – but I struggle with the consistency and flavour of the muktuk.

     

 

Slowly, the empty white plate I pick up becomes laden with pieces of arctic char, whale’s meat and frozen caribou. The arctic char feels familiar on my tongue – it reminds me slightly of the stock fish that my mom would use in her yam porridge, that I would painstakingly fish from the still hot dutch oven and place into my own bowl – but I struggle with the consistency and flavour of the muktuk. The caribou is the last thing I try and I do as I’m told, diligently dipping it in the small puddle of soy sauce on my plate. The flavour is rich and tangy and reminds me of the taste of copper I get in my mouth when I bite down on my tongue too strongly.

 

The session comes to an end and we each go our separate ways: the Inuit participants head to the airport to catch flights back to their communities, and my colleagues and I head back to the office. I leave the session with the words of the moderator still ringing in my head.

 
SECOND

The second time I try caribou, I’m in Nain, Nunatsiavut for a policy hackathon organized by a private foundation. I had flown into the community on a small plane, face pressed against the window as I watched the landscape morph and change. When I step off the aircraft and onto the tarmac, I smell the ocean for the first time: a fresh, crisp smell that feels foreign to me but hangs in the air wherever I go there. On my way to the hotel the first night, a woman approaches me and asks to touch my hair. I’m used to white people asking this, but I’m not sure what to say to an Inuk woman. She stretches her hand out and grabs hold of a braid and I smile.

 

During the day our meals are catered and our dishes are overflowing with food. At the end of the day, a young Inuk woman takes what’s left-over back to her family. I take a lot of walks; the smell of fresh air is intoxicating and more enchanting still when I climb through the small mountain area, thick with trees and vegetation. Other times, I walk through the hamlet, venturing to the Northern store to peruse the aisles, taking note of the food prices that are already higher than in Ottawa, despite the sea ferry still being operational.

 

They take us on a trip to the community freezer. There’s a list of names of all those who’ve had to use it, followed by their employment status. I leaf through the pages and notice a shift from caribou to other wild foods like moose. In her explanation of how the freezers are used, the tour guide briefly mentions the moratorium on hunting caribou that has been in place since 2007, and the impact on a community that had traditionally relied on it as a food source.

 
The writer sits at a table, reaching to dip a piece of caribou in a bowl of soy sauce

Katherine Takpannie, Katinniaqtugut, 2019, digital photograph.

 

Later, we find out that the foundation organizing the hackathon had flown in caribou from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut all the way to Nunatsiavut as a thank you to the community for hosting us. Because of regulations around country food, the package had travelled miles across the country before finally ending up in the community. Flyers abound around town, announcing a community feast; they’re tacked on to utility poles and on announcement boards in front of the school and stores.

 

The night of the feast, I’m seated at a table with government officials and the other hackathon attendees. Tables and chairs have been set up throughout the community hall and I watch as children weave expertly between them, their laughter ringing throughout the space and mingling with the sound of the multiple conversations unfolding all around me. I dip a piece of bannock in the caribou stew that one of the community members had handed me and savour the warmth of the dish even as I feel that same aching sensation tie itself into an even tighter knot in my chest.

 

I step outside and breathe in the air once again, and wonder what I’m truly doing here. On the flight out of Nain back to Ottawa, the same question still hangs in my head.

 
THIRD

The third time I try caribou, I’ve already decided to take all these unanswered questions, this sensation that sinks deeper in my body with each passing day and to put them into an exhibition, to use art to probe this tear in who I thought I was and where I thought I stood and help unravel it even further.

 
 

It’s my first time meeting Katherine, a young Inuk woman and one of the artists in the exhibition – my first as a curator rather than an artist. She greets me at the door with her infant son hanging from her hip. As I’m taking off my shoes, she tells me that her mother has some tuktu (frozen caribou) and offers to share it with me.

     


Something in my chest expands as we discuss the exhibition, the slab of caribou and cardboard between us and her infant son watching us with big dark eyes from his high chair.
 

She sets out a piece of cardboard on the dining table and slowly unwraps a cloth-covered parcel, revealing a large chunk of frozen meat, red undertones glistening behind frost. She leaves for a moment, retreating to the kitchen, and comes back with a small bowl and a bottle of soy sauce. She leaves again and remerges with a small, curved blade with a wooden handle – an ulu, she later tells me. I watch as she glides the surface of the ulu along the caribou in sharp, steady movements. The thin slices of red meat glisten on the brown cardboard, the ice on its surface slowly melting and leaving dark puddles behind. I take a slice between my fingers and, knowing now what to do, dip it in the soy sauce. The meat seems to melt in my mouth and I savour the now familiar flavour of copper and umami.

 

Something in my chest expands as we discuss the exhibition, the slab of caribou and cardboard between us and her infant son watching us with big dark eyes from his high chair. She teaches me how to use the ulu, and, as my hands learn the same movements I had been watching earlier, I ask her for a photo.

 

Months later, an image of my hand with the ulu and caribou were to become the main promotional photos for an exhibition aimed at exploring moments like these, the significance of which I still struggle to articulate.

 
FOURTH

The fourth time I try caribou I’m meeting with an Algonquin caterer whom I had initially reached out to about catering an upcoming event for the exhibition. Though unable to cater the event, she agrees when I later ask if she would be willing to teach me how to forage wild plants. We settle on a payment for the excursion and knowledge exchange and set a date and time to meet the following week.

 

I drive forty-five minutes from suburban Ottawa to Kitigan Zibi the following Tuesday. When I arrive at her house – a log house that I soon learn is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside – I see a black dog sitting on the lawn. He follows me as I climb up the stairs and hangs by my legs even as she opens the door. She greets me warmly and ushers me inside.

 

Explaining that her mother will be the one taking me foraging and is running a bit behind, she gives me a tour of the house and, when that is over, asks if I’m hungry. When I acquiesce, we head over to the kitchen and she sets out to make a sandwich before remembering the leftover caribou stew she has in her fridge. With the bread still in the toaster, she heads to the cupboard and pulls out two bowls and puts the stew in the microwave to warm.

 

When all is ready, we sit down and eat the stew together, talking throughout about the experiences that had brought us to this moment: her journey to starting her catering business and my journey to curating this exhibition. Suddenly, I’m taken back to Nain and the comforting taste of bannock dipped in stew and the smell of the ocean, but this time there is a sense of communion, of relationality that I had not experienced before.

 

     


When all is ready, we sit down and eat the stew together, talking throughout about the experiences that had brought us to this moment: her journey to starting her catering business and my journey to curating this exhibition.

     

 

When her mother comes in they share an exchange in Anishinaabemowin and both burst into laughter. She later explains that her mother was surprised to see me; she had been expecting a white woman, not a young Black woman willing to pay to learn how to forage in the bush. Her mother and I hit it off immediately; her energy is as dynamic as her appearance: long brown hair pulled into a tight ponytail at the back of her head, one side of her scalp shaved with a colourful tattoo spreading from the back of one ear to the front of her temple. We spend the next two hours out in the woods together, driving from location to location, finding cedar, herbs to heal the intestines and, most excitingly for us both, Labrador tea.

 

At the end, I gift her with tobacco and leave with more gifts than I can count.

 
FIFTH

The last time I have caribou, I’m at ‘A Harvest More Plentiful,’ the community dinner I organized with the Carleton University Art Gallery as part of the public programming for the exhibition. We’ve hired a First Nations as well as an Inuk caterer, and my mom and I have cooked some Nigerian dishes. We’re close to fourteen Black and Indigenous women and two-spirit people gathered for the event; I know many of them, but many others I’m meeting for the first time. I’m comforted to have my mother there with me, to share in the moment. In the years since arriving in the country in 1998, this is her first time sharing space with Indigenous women and two-spirit folks in this way.

 
Black and white image of several women at a long table, eating, talking, laughing.

Katherine Takpannie, Niriqatigiit, 2020, digital photograph.

 

The table is laden with food – two different recipes of bannock, as well as puff-puff, the Nigerian version of fried bread. A caribou mac and cheese is placed beside my mom’s yam porridge, and on the other side of the table, the rich smell of seal broth is heady and comforting.

 

At the table, we share bottles of sorrel – a hibiscus drink often offered as a show of hospitality in West Africa and the Caribbean. I look around at the table at those gathered around me, and, as I indulge in the sound of conversation and laughter, feel the weight that had wrapped itself around my heart since the beginning of this particular journey start to loosen. This, I know, is only the beginning.

 
Kosisochukwu Nnebe Kosisochukwu Nnebe is a Nigerian-Canadian visual artist. An economist by training and a policy analyst by profession, her visual arts practice aims to engage viewers on issues both personal and structural in ways that bring awareness to their own complicity. Her work has been exhibited at AXENEO7, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Place des Arts, the Art Gallery of Guelph, the Nia Centre, Studio Sixty Six, Z-Art Space, Station 16, and the Mohr Gallery in Mountain View, California,. She has given presentations on her artistic practice and research at universities across Quebec, including Laval, McGill and Concordia, and has facilitated workshops at the National Gallery of Canada, the Ottawa Art Gallery, and Redwood City High School in California. She is currently based in Ottawa.
 
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CURRENTLY VIEWING: Dinner for one (2020) Tamil Archive Project
CURRENTLY VIEWING: Dinner for one (2020)
Tamil Archive Project
Dinner for one
Tamil Archive Project
Toronto, ON



Amidst the 2020 global pandemic how does one maintain care, community, and rituals? Eight collective members called in on zoom to have dinner together. You may see into our private spaces, recognize familiar gestures, long for the foods we eat, and read some of the anxieties that sit with us. You will not hear the sound of our voices filled with affection nor the conversations we had on that Sunday evening.

 
Tamil Archive Project
Tamil Archive Project (TAP) is a collective which prioritizes the participation and experiences of racialized non-binary people and women in the Greater Toronto Area with histories of trauma and marginalization. Our collective emerged out of a need for makeshift forms of belonging in diasporic spaces and centering of communal care whilst reconfiguring contemporary art practices. We believe the archival function of our collective plays a key role in reminding artists of the legacies of resistance we draw from neighbourhoods to create our futures. Participating members for this project: Ambihai Akilan, Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Katherine Bell, Vidhya Elango, Tashnim Jerin, Manvinder Kaur, Madeleine Lychek and Vasuki Shanmuganathan.
 

Ambihai Akilan

  is a Tamil-Canadian high school student who adores slam poetry, making people happy, and how those two things intertwine. She works to understand the power of the ability to communicate and how to harness its intricacies.


Yasmeen Nematt Alla

  is an Egyptian-Canadian visual storyteller whose practice approaches immigration and refugee narratives from an interpreter’s perspective. She considers how art making can bridge the gap between what we know and what we hope to understand. Entranced by the power of text and its ability to dialogue with the onlooker, she creates sentences that act as portraits for herself and those who share similar circumstances through sculptural, interactive and performative gestures.

 

Katherine Bell

  is an undergraduate university student studying art history and philosophy. As a queer, mixed race individual, they are interested in false notions of binary in identity and deconstructing the impact of colonialism on academia/art.


Vidhya Elango

  lives in downtown Toronto and is into language, stories, and the suburbs. She thinks food can be a way to understand all three.


Tashnim Jerin

  is a writer, artist and digital strategist with a passion for storytelling. Drawing inspiration from her Bengali roots, she uses concepts of memory, nostalgia, and archives in her practice. Her stories explore intergenerational trauma and mental health in migrant communities.

 

Manvinder Kaur

  is a Punjabi-Canadian researcher and community organizer. Her work explores the relationship between alcohol and Sikhi, critiquing the constructs of culture, gender, and religion.


Madeleine Lychek

  is a queer, bi-racial artist who responds to issues surrounding body politics, and further challenges preconceived notions regarding, sexuality, racial ambiguity and censorship. Her practice is interdisciplinary and spans performance, video, drawing, printmaking, and artist multiples.

 

Vasuki Shanmuganathan

  works at the intersection of research, education, and visual culture with a focus on the effects of colonialism. She started Tamil Archive Project collective in 2016 and is part of the archival team that documents racialized artists and their work for current and future generations.


 
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CURRENTLY VIEWING: Distanced Communion (2020) Maria Isabel Martinez
CURRENTLY VIEWING: Distanced Communion (2020)
Maria Isabel Martinez
Distanced Communion
Maria Isabel Martinez
Toronto, ON

In the face of a raging storm, we feed each other to feed ourselves.

 
“I mean, caring for ourselves, partly, is the way we destroy this world and we make another. We help each other inhabit what is an otherwise uninhabitable and brutal social context.”
– Saidiya Hartman
 

Sharing a meal is ritual: the altar is set and we make offerings up to each other. We offer each other libations in exchange for communion — here, an olive; here, my questions. Connection is always an offering placed on the table. When I feed you, I feed myself; I eat the food prepared, and I indulge in the nourishment of your company. Food, which is both necessary to our bodies and pleasurable to our senses, is a generous tool for sustaining physical and inner selves. There is a mutuality to a meal by way of feeding each other. We meet each other’s need for sustenance, and then our needs to be witnessed and heard. This is caregiving, a dance we may have learned long ago, which we intuitively perform when the right people appear. Caregiving blurs the edges between self and other, and reveals what can exist when the gap between one and another, you and I, is filled.

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced us into quarantine, we came to understand sharing space as a threat. The airborne nature of the virus makes it so that we are afraid to be near each other; we are isolated from strangers, and also from loved ones. The solution, of course, has been video calls for all, but I worry about where the ritual of sharing goes, and how separation seduces us with its ignorance. In such moments when lives are threatened, our survival instincts are unearthed and we enter a state of separateness, or rather, individualism. In this state, caregiving demands more than usual from us, because it asks that we put aside our ambitions, our own propensities for surviving and thriving, in service of others’ well-being.

 

     


We meet each other’s need for sustenance, and then our needs to be witnessed and heard. This is caregiving, a dance we may have learned long ago, which we intuitively perform when the right people appear.
 

This individualism, we know, is a symptom of a capitalist illness, and it is exacerbated by the current health crisis. In Emergent Strategy, author, facilitator and pleasure activist, adrienne maree brown writes:



“Most of us are socialized towards independence—pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, working on our own to develop, to survive, to win at life. Competition is the way we hone our skill and comfort with the opposite of mutual reliance—we learn to feel proud about how much we achieve as individuals, and sometimes, to actively work to bring others down in order to get ahead.”
 

To extend love, support, resources and compassion to others, especially strangers, is to make a vow to human life, and not to capitalist triumph. Some are under the illusion that your well-being and mine are not connected and are mutually exclusive. This lie must be set on fire, and in its place, a truth planted about how much we need and must rely on each other.

 

The pandemic, combined with uprisings in support of Black lives around the world, has set something in motion. Mutual aid projects are not only emerging, but flourishing in order to supplement access to essentials, like food, for vulnerable communities. I see how people respond to calls for aid, break free of a trance, and make offerings to each other. Borrowing a definition from Big Door Brigade, "Mutual aid projects are a form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions, not just through symbolic acts or putting pressure on their representatives in government, but by actually building new social relations that are more survivable.” To participate in mutual aid is to participate in the act of caregiving. It says, I may not be able to feed you at my table, but may you take these seeds and harvest your own garden. It is deliberate empathy at work, the extension of oneself in service of another. A granola bar, a clementine, or a bottle of water at a protest is a moment of care in service of a future. It is world-building in the face of collapse.

 

This newer world, or newer way of existing, roots itself in interdependence, of which brown writes, “The idea of interdependence is that we can meet each other’s needs in a variety of ways, that we can truly lean on others and they can lean on us.” Yet, part of this leaning requires honesty about those needs. Mutual aid funds cannot be organized without first establishing what the aid will look like. Giving and receiving require deep vulnerability. I will not get fed unless I tell you I am hungry.

 

In February, pre-pandemic and during a Friday night snowstorm, a friend and I carried groceries back to my apartment for dinner. Earlier that day, I begged this friend to let me cook for her. It had become clear to me how desperate I was to touch ingredients, play with heat and hold scents up to my nose in service of someone else. I needed the opportunity to blur edges and close the gap between me and the world. I longed for her to sit with me and indulge me of my vulnerability as a way of relieving it: a face upon which to gaze at my own, a mouth to eat on behalf of mine.

 

We all experience a level of hunger for connection. During this pandemic, we are forbidden to each other and this hunger grows through lack. I have always enjoyed the slow pleasure of tasting a salty cheese, a ripe and deep red cherry, of feeling a wine fill my mouth with acidity and make me want to kiss the air for sweet relief. Food is a sensual gift which can touch us in a myriad of places. This pleasure is doubled by the company of someone else, like when I check to see if my friend is sensing the same smoothness of a cream filling as I am. Does anything ever taste the same when we’re alone?

 

     


This pleasure is doubled by the company of someone else, like when I check to see if my friend is sensing the same smoothness of a cream filling as I am. Does anything ever taste the same when we’re alone?

     

 

I believe we long to be received by others. Do you see my sorrow? Do you share my joy?

 

A friend tells me about a friend of hers who enjoys watching her eat on camera during their video calls. She says, “I think it might be [in] part because she knows about my history with food (sometimes fraught) but I think it might also be because we just like to watch each other be.” Here, witnessing is care. I see you care for yourself, and I burgeon this care by admiring your efforts. It is a dance that goes in circles, and it orients itself towards tomorrow.

 

As the world is set ablaze, some run into the fire, and some bring the rain. In this present moment of separateness, some of us choose to resist the temptation of individuality. Systems fail, and people deliver. Many share financial resources, plant gardens for each other, or drop off freshly baked bread. Some exchange recipes over FaceTime and cook together. I hope the generosity and willingness that has arisen lives on and grows; I hope it evolves, as things are wont to do, into a more capacious future. I want a space so big there is room for us to do all kinds of soaring. May we sustain our care and these practices that have been born of this moment. After the fire, maybe some wings.

 
Maria Isabel Martinez
Maria Isabel Martinez is a writer of Colombian descent, born and living in Toronto.

 
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Overview
A Matter of Taste Chapter Two: Pinki Li, Lauren Marsden, Anya Shen, Weppler & Mahovsky


About
the Artists


Overview
A Matter of Taste Chapter Two: Pinki Li, Lauren Marsden, Anya Shen, Weppler & Mahovsky


About