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On Everyone’s Lips
Candies in Art

On Everyone’s Lips – Candies in Art

In our experience-oriented society issues like cooking, eating and drinking became top themes. The material food is in contemporary art equally profusely represented. But meat and drink have as an issue with the cultural anthropological meaning in the art history a centuries-old tradition, which reaches from antique wall paintings to baroque Vanitas still lives and to the modern age. Back in the old days, food was mostly arranged in oil on canvas. It was not until the artistic avant-garde of the 20th century that nutritional materials were served directly, to contribute to a radical overcoming of the traditional status of art work. While until the 20th century food was only used rarely, it was especially candies which were used since the Ancient Times repeatedly as a sculptural material for opulent mis-en-scène. Sugar was until the beginning of the industrialisation a luxurious semiluxury food and status symbol with a high social prestige. Today, candies became cheap products of mass consumption.

The exhibition in the Museum Villa Rot is concerned with the artistic material, which stands as the “Momento mori et Vivendi” at the rudimentary interface of art and life: the candies. The exhibition is not arranged encyclopaedically, but it is concentrated on the different artistic positions of different, formal and contentual differentiated aspects of the issue. It shows sweets as sculptural material for paintings, sculptures and room installations which do not only seduce by their aesthetic stimulus, but also by activating the sense of smell and our memory of tastes. It comments on the inflationary consume of sugar and the pleasure-oriented hedonism in our western affluent society. It shows the flipside of the nutritional wealth and with one glance to Latin America, it focuses on the cultural history of the sugar, its socially and economically critical conditions of production, as well as on the religious-ritually use in the context of folk-like tradition.

Participating Artists

Sonja Alhäuser (Germany)
Peter Anton (USA)
Günther Beier (Germany)
Götz Bury (Austria)
Ulrik Happy Dannenberg (Germany)
Caetano Dias (Brazil)
Heribert Friedl (Austria)
Nora Millan (Mexico)
Mika Ninagawa (Japan)
Thomas Rentmeister (Germany)
Dieter Roth (Swiss)
Nina Rike Springer (Austria)
Miriam Urbano (Mexico)
Alberto Zamora Ruiz (Mexico)
Richard Zela (Mexico)

With friendly support of: