The Fragile Feast. Following a series of conversations with Ferran Adria' - founder of the restaurant elBulli - on the importance of sourcing the perfect ingredients, with the maximum quality, the British artist set out on a journey through Europe, Latin America and Japan to photograph thirty of those carefully chosen ingredients from Adria's cuisine.
Dominique Fiat gallery presents The Fragile Feast, second solo show by the photographer and videast Hannah Collins (London, 1956). Following a series of conversations with Ferran Adrià — founder of the restaurant elBulli — on the importance of sourcing the perfect ingredients, with the maximum quality, the British artist set out on a journey through Europe, Latin America and Japan to photograph thirty of those carefully chosen ingredients from Adrià’s cuisine.
Memory and background are key in understanding the creations of this chef, as one can appreciate in the images coming from Collins’ culinary voyage. The photos capture the place of origin, the process of transformation and the preparation in the kitchen of each one of the ingredients, most of which are produced by small family-run businesses.
In documenting the creation of 35 dishes by the world-renowned Catalan chef, the photographer has portrayed anemones from Cadiz, kudzu from Japan, honey from nomadic bees in Italy, or pines from the Pyrenees, among other raw materials. In this process, these local delicacies are co-opted into a much wider culinary language.
‘Whenever we analyse a dish or a style, we focus on composition and techniques, even on the precision in the combination of products, but you rarely stop to think that there is a story behind each ingredient’, Ferrán Adrià explains when describing Hannah Collins’ photographic commission. ‘And that is precisely what Hannah has done: to portray the behind-the-scenes of each one of these ingredients, to follow the thread of a whole series of emblematic products all the way back to the origin, each one with its own specific area, people who have worked with it for a long time, very often following ancestral techniques handed down from generation to generation,’ he adds.
The outcome of this work by Hannah Collins are 250 photos, a selection of which can be seen at Dominique Fiat gallery from 7 February till 18 March 2012, then from 22 March till 20 April at Hôtel Scribe. Hannah Collins’ work is the subject of a book published by Hatje Cantz, 2011 : The Fragile Feast : Routes to Ferran Adrià. Together with the photos, each ingredient in the book is accompanied by a text describing the work of the hunters, farmers or gathers behind it, as well as maps pinpointing the origins of the products.
A signature of the book and a Roundtable will be organized on 22 March, 6:30 pm at Hôtel Scribe.
Image: Hannah Collins, The Fragile Feast, 2011 Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris
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