It’s summertime: time for ice creams! ….And I have been collaboration with Sharbe’, my “local” ice cream parlour — a very special place in Imperia – Italy — where Gaetanina and Enrico keep an old tradition alive using top quality ingredients and ethic responsibility for their artisanal production. Together we have been working on a small project that conceptually joins the crafts of Art & Gelato. If you like to know more or please see the attached documents.
It’s been a wonderful and inspiring experience, not only because I get to eat a lots of freshly made delicious ice-cream for free!
If you ever come to Italy and pass by Imperia don’t miss an opportunity to savour the best gelato.
Thank you for your attention,
Ciao for now
Art and Ice Cream: a collaboration.
Frozen clouds made of whipped cream, iced milk crystals, delicious snow that soothes the summer heat on our taste buds but also in our eyes. Clouds that reawakens cerebral, but mostly our sensorial perceptions. Art lives everywhere, not just in museums, in galleries or hung on a wall. For art it’s also found in an ice cream parlour and even inside an ice cream; we just have to search, create, recognize, observe, remember, feel, but mostly, we have to imagine.
Stories of artists, cooks, migrants, kings and queens, of people of different classes, places and times intertwine around the history of ice-cream. Predestined to modernity, ice cream originated in the ancient Arab world, perhaps in one of the enchanted fairy tales of Thousand and One Nights? From its primordial form of sorbet, iced cream evolved, sliding down from the snow-capped mountain of Etna into all European courts even the british one! From Sicily to Spain, from Florence to Paris, and before that from China to Veneto, and ultimately from Genoa to America. Despite its innate simplicity, ice cream’s DNA is made out of genes of articulated and disparate ethnicities, all protagonists of a fascinating history rich in combinations of facts and interpretations that traversed Middle Ages, Renaissance and Industrial Revolution to the present day, where ice cream arrived, fortunately for us, safe and sound. During this long and adventurous journey, from luxury-aristocratic-dessert, its status has transformed into a street delicacy for the people, no longer exclusive, but rather a common good for the mouths of all.
A metaphor for human story, its indefatigable particles have never ceased to recompose, tangle, overlap, connect. Ice cream is the material manifestation of an infinite cosmic interconnectedness in which gastric juices mix with the molecules of places and times, but also of social, political, economic and environmental history. Today, every time we taste an ice cream, we inevitably savour the blend of our destinies, we savour that synthesis of life that contains everything: poetry.
Like ingredients that turn into delicious sweets, ice cream transforms into a symbol. As a result of that alchemy, an ice cream parlour then becomes a place for art and an art gallery an ice cream parlour, where art moves beyond the restricted elitist art circles to be more accessible to all. This, entitles ice cream with a pedagogic responsibility that reflects on the utilitarian daily value of art, inviting to a better understanding of the impact that consumption and production of culture have on the environment and on the quality of our lives.
In fact you would have asked: what is the relation between ice cream and plastic bags? What does ice cream have to do with the environment, with pollution, with landfills, with recycling? With our habits, and rituals, with our waste, with our culture, with our social problems? What is the link between ice cream and our lifestyles that daily sculpt increasingly global spaces creating new aesthetic landscapes of meaning? At this juncture, ice cream lends itself to a visual metaphor of an iceberg that disintegrates at the human touch — the victim of its very own artifices.
If you love ice cream, then, you’ll definitely be sensitive to art that invites you to dialogue. Then, you’ll also be interested in social themes, such as the environment. Then you’ll want to know history and origins of the ingredients you eat, and maybe you’ll want to interact with them, even if by just by eating an ice cream in a conscious manner, using all the “senses” to inspire them to find new interconnections and meanings.
From one palate to the other, ice cream has been adapting, or perhaps instead it had to fight for, with times and cultures, with various fashions and economies. It is our collective responsibility to continue to pass on healthy rituals that taste good, habits that get us accustom to make ethical choices in the name of environmental values that should be in harmony with the nature of our bodies and of the worlds that surround us.
This initiative is inspired, not only by the love of art and ice cream, by the desire for corporeal and cultural wellbeing, but also by wanting to create opportunities where arts mix harmoniously, portraying all its different flavours.
To conclude, ice cream is my favourite dessert, ever. But not the industrial one. Rather, and only, the artisanal ice cream that crafts nature to culture into humanity.
Situated on top of a waffle cone, ice cream sits like an abstract sculpture on its crisp plinth. Malleable, soft and creamy, sweet and fragrant, ice cream is a meeting point of flavours, colours and shapes that melt through needy and greedy—insatiable tasting buds. Chiselled by merciless tongue’s strokes, caresses — moulded to death by thousand ephemeral shapes, at the mercy of the alchemical slime, ice cream slips away into mysterious channels where metabolic magic turns it into lymph. Romantic, yet practical, there is no room from frills in an ice cream cone, there is no waste of plastic or paper, everything is eatable leaving nothing to throw away. Long live art ecology!