Canadian Art - - Spotlight -

An artist and art ed­u­ca­tor, Basil Alzeri cre­ates per­for­ma­tive home-spa­ces to ex­press gen­eros­ity and hos­pi­tal­ity. In The Mo­bile Kitchen Lab (2012–16), he video chats with his mother, Suad, in Ara­bic while cook­ing in the gallery space, al­low­ing side con­ver­sa­tions be­tween vis­i­tors to min­gle with his culi­nary di­a­logue. Ac­knowl­edg­ing the un­der­ap­pre­ci­ated labour of moth­ers, the artist demon­strates how the trans­mis­sion of ma­tri­ar­chal knowl­edge be­comes ob­structed for im­mi­grant fam­i­lies. In Push, Sort, Hang, Dry, and Crush (2014), the artist snips wild thyme and makes za’atar—ac­cord­ing to his mother’s recipe—be­fore an au­di­ence. He treats the preser­va­tion of culi­nary tech­niques as an act of re­sis­tance against colo­nial­ism. Al­low­ing dis­cur­sive in­ter­ac­tions to oc­cur nat­u­rally, Alzeri en­cour­ages con­ver­sa­tions about food sovereignty and cross-cul­tural ex­change through shar­ing a meal. Basil Alzeri The Mo­bile Kitchen Lab 2013 Per­for­mance doc­u­men­ta­tion PHOTO HENRY CHAN

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