The Food, The Bad and The Ugly
1 August to 4 August 2018
For fifteen years The Domestic Godless have been working on the very fringes of Ireland’s blossoming gastronomic renaissance employing food (its taste, its presentation, its production and cultural values) as artistic material for irreverent experimentation.
They have trodden a fine line between cuisine and art, researching the stranger corners of global food culture, creating installations, banquets and performances in such places as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the majestic Castletown House in Kildare, an abandoned hotel in the heart of Athens and a mini-skip at the gates of City Hall in Belfast.
The Domestic Godless have been working together in a time that has seen food culture change dramatically in Ireland. Creating unpredictable and unorthodox food combinations, their recipes subvert prevalent visual and tasting norms promoting confusion and delight of the idiom ‘you eat with your eyes’ - exploring the relationship between contemporary art and food and its cultural currency.
Beginning with a three week residency in the expansive Upper Gallery of the Crawford Art Gallery in November 2017, The Food, The Bad and The Ugly explores contemporary visual art and food from a unique and tangible entry point. Domestic Godless explores food as both a concept and a medium through which to convey humour, empathy and to comment on wider cultural and social issues, creating concoctions of inventive, high quality dishes within the setting of multi-media visual displays, anarchic sculptural installations and memorable experiential food tasting by the visiting public.
The subsequent tour involves local communities, artists, food-makers, foragers, philosophers and teachers in creating tasting evenings, light lunches and workshops. The focus on celebrating local resources and communities is reflected in the variety of strategic regional partners: Galway Arts Centre partnering Galway Arts Festival; Callan Union Workhouse; Solstice Arts Centre, Navan; Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny partnering Perspective Festival and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen.
At Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, The Domestic Godless will be in residence from 1 August to 4 August 2018 linking to Skibbereen Arts Festival and to the current exhibition at Uillinn - Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger. The residency will be preceded by site visits for the artists to source local producer and /or natural ingredients pertinent to the area. With the importance of local food, slow food and local food production and producers to the west Cork region, Domestic Godless and Uillinn aim to create a partnership to draw new audiences into the important interplay between food and art - both key ingredients to the success of West Cork. Also developing strongly at the moment, are various local foraging initiatives - from restaurants serving local ingredients foraged from the hedgerows and shoreline, to courses and workshops on identifying and collecting edible bounty from the land and sea.
The Food, The Bad and The Ugly at Uillinn will be further contextualised within the framework of the exhibition, of contemporary and historical artworks from Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, USA. Indeed, Skibbereen's identification as 'ground zero' of the Great Irish Famine offers a context for contemporary explorations of current issues of famine and food security.
A recipe book has been produced, part funded by a Fund It campaign, to celebrate Domestic Godless's practice and wider cultural impact, documenting the collaborations and performances and including a recipe column featured in VAI Newsletter from 2004.
About the artists:
The Domestic Godless were founded by artists Stephen Brandes and Mick O’Shea, (later to be joined by Irene Murphy) under the Cork Artist’s Collective banner at the exhibition Artists/Groups at The Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 2003. They have introduced to the world such delights as Sea Urchin Pot Noodle, Foot & Mouth Terrine, Carpaccio of Giant African Land Snail and Victorian high tea wrought from all manner of fertilizer, often in the setting of anarchic installations.
Recent events have included 'Invasive Pests': Waiting for the Barbarians, Athens Biennale, Hotel Bageion, Omonoeia Square, Athens, Greece, May 2017; ‘A Gastronomic Evening of Invasive Pests’ atthe Science Gallery, Dublin, April 2016; ’20,000 Leagues Under CorkHarbour’, Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, September 2015, ‘A Reinvention of theIrish Breakfast’ at the National Design Gallery, Kilkenny, May 2015 and acookery school at the Cook’s Academy in Dublin during the Bram StokerFestival in 2014. Between 2014 and 2015 they toured “Canaliculus Pergamentorum”, to Kinsale Arts Festival, Tulca Art Festival, Galway and Broadstone Studios, Dublin, which saw The Domestic Godless create a 30 metre canal of sewage ducting, on which travelled an array of dishes inspired by the bitter-sweet reminiscences of miserable Summer holidays.
Initiated by Crawford Gallery of Art, The Food, The Bad and The Ugly is funded by the Arts Council's Touring and Dissemination of Work Scheme.
WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible.
Image: Domestic Godless, image courtesy of The Domestic Godless