By Cecilia Novero

Discussing a side of the eu avant-garde that has frequently been neglected-its courting to the embodied event of nutrition, its sensation, and its consumption-Cecilia Novero exposes the unusually key roles that nutrition performs within the theoretical foundations and fabric aesthetics of a vast stratum of works starting from the Italian Futurist Cookbook to the journal Dada, Walter Benjamin's writings on consuming and cooking, Daniel Spoerri's Eat Art, and the French New Realists.

Starting from the idea that avant-garde paintings consists of the wondering of bourgeois aesthetics, Novero demonstrates that avant-garde artists, writers, and performers have produced an oppositional aesthetics of indigestible artwork. during the rhetoric of incorporation and intake and using fabric components of their paintings, she exhibits, avant-garde artists energetic within the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties in addition to the neo-avant-garde activities engaged seriously with shopper tradition, reminiscence, and history.

Attention to nutrition in avant-garde aesthetics, Novero asserts, unearths how those works are rooted in a fancy temporality that affiliates reminiscence and intake with dynamics of change.

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Extra resources for Antidiets of the Avant-Garde: From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art

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Undernourishment was a major cause of death: it facilitated the epidemics of the influenza known as La Spagnola (the Spanish flu) between 1918 and 1920 and of tuberculosis until the fifties. Pellegrino Artusi, the nineteenth-century author of the most well-known Italian cookbook, compiled his recipes for the elites, notably the middle classes and the landowning aristocracy: these dishes, rich with fat and carbohydrates, are inconceivable today, as they were to the Futurists in the twenties. Unlike Artusi, whose selection of foods was rooted not only in bourgeois traditions but also in the seasonal cycles, thus displaying affection for nature, the Futurists insisted on artifice, art, and science as aids in liberating the body from its limits and needs.

Yet avant-garde and neo-avant-garde antidiets constitute a dietetic (and aesthetic) undertow that pulls diet in countergastronomic directions. In every antidiet there is a resistance and thus also a hope as, in Benjamin’s words, hope is only for the hopeless. What fails –– and the avant-garde antidiets are already set up to fail taste and the bourgeois subject –– is moved by resistance. The task of the avant-gardes that continue experimenting, testing their own and their societies’ limits, is to look for that resistance, even civil/aesthetic disobedience, in what introduction xxxv has been declared a historical failure.

Against practicality we Futurists therefore disdain the example and admonition of tradition in order to invent at any cost something new which everyone considers crazy. 5 Most importantly, distance does not erase the fundamentally chauvinistic values of second-wave Futurism; it only complicates its relation with institutionalized fascism. The Futurists had welcomed World War I as the final and necessary Italian war against the Austrian invader. Their modernism, since the beginning, was both nationalist and international: ideologically nationalist, aesthetically international.

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