Work in Progress – Group 8
Prof. Tina Haase
Report by Group 8:
We started off right in the city center exploring the city together as a group and individually. After doing this for some days we had several meetings where we exchanged ideas and discussed possibilities. There then followed a day of testing ideas through making. We worked for a day at Front of House, using found materials gathered from the geodesic dome nearby. We explored ideas relating to the medieval architecture of Bologna, the intense quality of light and the shadows it cast and the strong colours that dominated the city. This produced some good results and the success of this day of ‘playing’ with ideas encouraged and motivated us.
Then we went back to the city and looked again, this time refocusing our attention on the people of Bologna. How could we make some kind of connection with them? It was very difficult to be in a completely new city, in a country where you do not speak the language. How do you break the barrier between you as the outsider and the local people? And how would we capture this in our final installation?
We looked at our situation, how could we cross the barrier? It was then that we though of food! Perhaps this is quite obvious, but often it is the obvious solution that can be overlooked. Bologna is considered one of the finest culinary centres in Italy. Every day we would visit the beautiful market stalls to buy food for lunch, and we understood how food was central to domestic life in Bologna. It was important to us that the project we developed was in some way reciprocal. We did not want to exploit the citizens, but to included them in our project. There needed to be a ‘real’ interaction that involved an equal exchange. We therefore developed a scheme to exchange recipes! We each wrote down a key recipe, a recipe that we felt gave a ‘taste’ of our home. We then went into Bologna and approached locals, asking them to write a recipe in exchange for us. This worked well as a means of making a real connection with people.
We then presented our ideas and work in progress to the other groups and recieved very positive feedback. The problem identified was however, what to do with all the recipes? How were we going to present all this in the final exhibition?