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For Art Dubai Projects 2016, Delfina Foundation brought together several elements of its popular dinner performances with site-specific commissions and interventions by former resident artists Sunoj D, Larissa Sansour, Candice Lin, Nile Sunset Annex, the Centre for Genomic Gastronomy, Hind Mezaina, Manal al Dowayan, Taus Makhacheva and Matheus Rocha Pitta.

From F.T. Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurist Cookery to Gordon Matta-Clark’s conceptual restaurant FOOD to Michael Rakowitz’s Enemy Kitchen, artists have often employed food in their creative process and practice. For the last two years, Delfina Foundation’s Politics of Food programme has brought together leading artists, celebrity chefs and scientists to explore food as a medium for understanding complex histories and questioning current issues, from globalisation to waste. The notion of cooking and eating as performative acts has been an underlying aspect of the programme.

The project playfully unfolded in two interconnected rooms in the Mina a’Salam Hotel that are typically used as venues for executive meals, business conferences and weddings. Taking these formats as a starting point, Delfina Foundation curated a banquet hall that mixed continuous offerings of food and drink with seated, time-based performative meals.

The dishes, produced in collaboration with Jumeirah culinay team, explored the notion of food, recipes, and cookbooks as markers of cultural memory that can be just as easily erased as they are preserved. Larissa Sansour reminded us of seasonal foraging that is now forbidden in hills of Palestine, while the artist-duo, the Centre for Genomic Gastronomy, reinterpreted another soon-to-be extinct dish from meat into vegan. Manal Al Dowayan offered remedies to cope with such future scenarios while Taus Makhacheva’s desserts distorted our current realities, allowing guests to consume the impossible.

The Wedding Project was presented by Delfina Foundation and Art Dubai Projects.

The Wedding Project was supported by Absolut Elyx with further support by ROI and The White Boutique.