Antidiets of the Avant-Garde: From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art
by Cecilia Novero
University of Minnesota Press, 2009
Cloth: 978-0-8166-4600-5 | Paper: 978-0-8166-4601-2
Library of Congress Classification NX650.F64N69 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 704.9496413


Discussing an aspect of the European avant-garde that has often been neglected-its relationship to the embodied experience of food, its sensation, and its consumption-Cecilia Novero exposes the surprisingly key roles that food plays in the theoretical foundations and material aesthetics of a broad stratum of works ranging from the Italian Futurist Cookbook to the magazine Dada, Walter Benjamin's writings on eating and cooking, Daniel Spoerri's Eat Art, and the French New Realists.

Starting from the premise that avant-garde art involves the questioning of bourgeois aesthetics, Novero demonstrates that avant-garde artists, writers, and performers have produced an oppositional aesthetics of indigestible art. Through the rhetoric of incorporation and consumption and the use of material ingredients in their work, she shows, avant-garde artists active in the 1920s and 1930s as well as the neo-avant-garde movements engaged critically with consumer culture, memory, and history.

Attention to food in avant-garde aesthetics, Novero asserts, reveals how these works are rooted in a complex temporality that associates memory and consumption with dynamics of change.

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