Family Lunch

Hosting and hospitality at the Delfina Foundation

Delfina Entrecanales and Aaron Cezar, the director of her eponymous foundation, inaugurated its expanded premises in 2014 with a programme titled ‘The Politics of Food’: an indication of how central the act of eating is to the organization. Founded in 1988 as the Delfina Studio Trust and now the largest provider of artist residencies in London, the foundation has, from the outset, been interested in questions of conviviality and hospitality as a basis for creating communities from the diverse, polyglot groups of artists that it hosts. Closely tied to this are notions of home and of migration – as both lived experience as well as, often, the subject matter of work produced by Delfina residents.

image4.jpg

A Delfina Foundation ‘family lunch’ on November 4, 2016, with food prepared by Shadi Habib Allah and presentations from resident artists Arwa Al Neami, Jungki Beak, Rasel Chowdhury, Alan Poma and Jasmijn Visser

A Delfina Foundation ‘family lunch’ on November 4, 2016, with food prepared by Shadi Habib Allah and presentations from resident artists Arwa Al Neami, Jungki Beak, Rasel Chowdhury, Alan Poma and Jasmijn Visser

Part of this home-away-from-home atmosphere is created by means of the regular ‘family lunches’ that take place at the foundation, where residents and invited guests sit down to share a meal, thoughts and conversation. The artists prepare the food and present their research; the guests – myself included, one rainy Friday a couple of weeks back – often question, occasionally provoke, hopefully stimulate and certainly feel humbled to be cooked for and waited on by the invariably engaging, articulate artistic company. It’s an interesting inversion of the conventional dynamic of post-opening gallery dinners, which, in the best instances, are the moment at which the artist can finally stop performing. As Cezar, in his role as master of ceremonies, pointed out: ‘family lunch’, for all its casual, conversational informality, is an exercise, for the artists, in public speaking (and sometimes thesis defence). This requires a particular, practiced exhibitionism. The table, here, functions not only as the site of offering and exchange, but also as a classroom – for both artists and guests.
 

Main image: A Delfina Foundation ‘family lunch’ on November 4, 2016, with food prepared by Shadi Habib Allah and presentations from resident artists Arwa Al Neami, Jungki Beak, Rasel Chowdhury, Alan Poma and Jasmijn Visser

Amy Sherlock is deputy editor of frieze and is based in London.

Most Read

Ignoring its faux-dissident title, this year's edition at the New Museum displays a repertoire that is folky, angry,...
An insight into royal aesthetics's double nature: Charles I’s tastes and habits emerge as never before at London’s...
In other news: Artforum responds to #NotSurprised call for boycott of the magazine; Maria Balshaw apologizes for...
At transmediale in Berlin, contesting exclusionary language from the alt-right to offshore finance
From Shanghai to Dubai, a new history charts the frontiers where underground scenes battle big business for electronic...
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, UK
Zihan Karim, Various Way of Departure, 2017, video still. Courtesy: Samdani Art Foundation
Can an alternative arts network, unmediated by the West's commercial capitals and burgeoning arts economies of China...
‘That moment, that smile’: collaborators of the filmmaker pay tribute to a force in California's film and music scenes...
In further news: We Are Not Surprised collective calls for boycott of Artforum, accuses it of 'empty politics'; Frida...
We Are Not Surprised group calls for the magazine to remove Knight Landesman as co-owner and withdraw move to dismiss...
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film is both gorgeous and troubling in equal measure
With Zona Maco opening in the city today, a guide to the best exhibitions across the Mexican capital
The question at the heart of Manchester Art Gallery’s artwork removal: what are the risks when cultural programming...
In further news: Sonia Boyce explains removal of Manchester Art Gallery’s nude nymphs; Creative Scotland responds to...
Ahead of the India Art Fair running this weekend in the capital, a guide to the best shows to see around town
The gallery argues that the funding body is no longer supportive of institutions that maintain a principled refusal of...
The Dutch museum’s decision to remove a bust of its namesake is part of a wider reconsideration of colonial histories,...
At New York’s Metrograph, a diverse film programme addresses a ‘central problem’ of feminist filmmaking
Ronald Jones pays tribute to a rare critic, art historian, teacher and friend who coined the term Post-Minimalism
In further news: curators rally behind Laura Raicovich; Glasgow's Transmission Gallery responds to loss of Creative...
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
‘An artist in a proud and profound sense, whether he liked it or not’ – a tribute by Michael Bracewell
Ahead of a show at Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum, how the documentarian’s wandering gaze takes in China’s landscapes of...
In further news: Stedelijk explains why it cancelled Ettore Sottsass retrospective; US National Gallery of Art cancels...
With 11 of her works on show at the Musée d'Orsay, one of the most underrated artists in modern European history is...
Reopening after a two-year hiatus, London’s brutalist landmark is more than a match for the photographer’s blockbuster...
What the Google Arts & Culture app tells us about our selfie obsession
At a time of #metoo fearlessness, a collection of female critics interrogate their own fandom for music’s most...
A rare, in-depth interview with fashion designer Jil Sander

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

October 2017

frieze magazine

November - December 2017

frieze magazine

January - February 2018