Antoni Miralda
Spain, 1942
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The artist belongs to a nomadic generation that set out to explore the world in the late sixties. In his case this meant moving to Paris, then London, before finally settling in New York for a long period of time. He currently lives and works in Miami and Barcelona. In 2010, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía organised an important retrospective of his work, shown at the Palacio de Velázquez in Madrid. Between 1967 and 1968, while already living in Paris, he created a series of “edible objects”, manifesting what would become one of the conceptual mainstays of his entire artistic career: food, the ritual or act of eating, the elements used in doing so, the banquet, recipes, etc. In the process, he integrated another, parallel interest of equal or perhaps even greater importance. Namely, to have us reflect on cultural diversity through culinary traditions and practices, including their social and political implications. In 1970, he transformed a Parisian gallery into a restaurant in collaboration with Dorothée Selz. The dishes on the menu were prepared in four, different shades of food colouring: red, blue, yellow and green. On the basis of this project, he went on to create several banquets, rituals, ceremonies, displays and performances, with food always providing the starting point. These experiences even inspired him to open a restaurant in New York—El Internacional—along with Montse Guillén between 1984 and 1986. In the décor and the menu one sensed Miralda’s interest in interweaving different cultures, in this case American and Catalan culture. Within the broad range of elements used by the artist in developing his body of work, some recur time and again. The plate, for example, is not only an essential object in the preparation of food, but also an indispensable element in the act and ritual of eating. The plate is also an integral part of Falla acuática, a monumental pile of plates floating in the Barcelona harbour to commemorate the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, as well as in many of his more recent installations. As the human taste organ, the tongue—or rather its shape—has also become a recurring formal choice in much of his work. Sabores y lenguas is a work in progress initiated in 1997 as part of the Food Cultura Museum, a platform Miralda created in the year 2000 to explore the world of food and culture. According to the artist, the project strives to “contribute to the preservation of local, culinary traditions, many of which still get passed down orally and risk disappearing completely, as well as codifying a poetic memory of contemporary forms of food and modes of eating to gradually build an in-depth archive in which the plate serves as the material support, the tongue as an iconographic element and taste as a metaphor”. The iconographic tongue is present in the photographic diptych Mercado. A tongue-shaped window frames two close-ups of an old market: the façade with an oculus in the middle, flanked by a horn of plenty on either side, and the typical, marble vegetable stand commonly found in traditional markets. Ultimately, Miralda interprets the market as a space of reflection where culture and tradition come together.
Glòria Picazo

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • Market / 2002