Casa de Comidas Carabanchel
February to December 2023
Planta Baja, Madrid
Casa de Comidas Carabanchel (CCC) is a laboratory for artistic creation and experimentation rooted in the neighborhood fabric, which reflects on the gastronomic historical memory of the neighborhood. It's starting point is the disappearing phenomenon of "food houses" and it aims to investigate collaborative artistic practices around food.
Food houses had their heyday during the Franco dictatorship in Spain, when generations of women gathered in places where they could cook and care for their children, in order to generate extra income for their families. CCC arises as a vindication of these networks of care and transmission of knowledge, at a time when these meeting spaces are disappearing.
By reformulating concepts such as commensality, domestic space, migration and cooking, CCC invites us to venture into the immaterial historical memory linked to popular gastronomy and the role of women. It values ways of doing and caring traditionally associated with the feminine, while defending orality and food as artistic and expressive tools.
CCC is a project that the visual artist and researcher Marta Fernández Calvo develops together with the hablarenarte association, in its new space Planta Baja (Carabanchel), with the accompaniment in production and community work of Daniela Ruiz Moreno. Through the creation of a contemporary and feminist eatery, this project defends the political potential of the domestic as a space for emancipation, enunciation and collective creation.
The house, the kitchen, eating are considered subordinate themes and, therefore, hardly treated in research projects and artistic creation. Today, these practices recover their place in a necessary political dimension. The inevitable questions are: do these small-scale feminist economies exist today? If so, how do they work? Who leads them? The gaze is then transferred to the migrant families of the southern neighborhood, who support their ways of life in labor and domestic-productive activities. How this new scenario integrates and dialogues with the neighborhood and its memory is one of the underlying unknowns.
During eight intimate encounters distributed throughout 2023, a core group made up of older women, immigrant women, artists and researchers meet monthly in a space of intimacy, listening and creation. This group, made up of 12-15 participants and guests, is formed from a previous mapping of the neighborhood and an active network of affections.
Saturday March 18
The first session is entitled latartademarta and is delivered by Marta Fernádez Calvo who shares how an omelette became a cake and the strength to leave her home in Dublin and move to Madrid.
Marta states “I make cakes because I like to work in my pajamas (...) it is almost a flag that celebrates the power of the domestic, the intimate and the need —and responsibility— that we as a generation have to affect an artistic and geographical context". Marta leads and activates this collective device, as an artist and researcher, through the staging of a care space, in which the kitchen and the domestic are also spaces of resistance and knowledge production; the daily act of being and doing together as a methodology for collective action and co-creation between agents of the art system, communities and territories...
Saturday April 15
Andrea de la Torre Suarez (Ruta del Castor, Mexico) and Marta Fernández Calvo.
In this session, entitled That lady lives for me, because I give her strength, the potential of food as protection or amulet is explored. Repair practices of the female lineage are carried out that converge in the creation of a collective altar.
The title of the meeting honors the phrase that the atole (drink of pre-Hispanic origin made by cooking sweet corn) said to Doña Esperanza in Santa Ana Zegache (Oaxaca) during the mourning of her son who was murdered two weeks after leaving to the US.
Friday May 12
Activation of the residence of the Amasijo Collective (Mexico City)
Amasijo is a network of women who claim care for the territory, for multi-species relationships and for people through the practice of communal cooking. It arose with the intention of caring, conserving and celebrating, creating the necessary conditions to actively reflect on the origin and diversity of food, to de-hierarchize knowledge and focus on “doings” as learning mechanisms. The recognition of non-dominant narratives, the celebration of diversity and the visibility of the interdependence between language, culture, cuisine and territory are some of their daily acts to achieve this goal.
This project has the support of the Grants for Contemporary Creation of the Madrid City Council.