Dom Śląski, Kolonial House – Leone Contini in Krakow
„The first layer of research consists in sort of food- fossils, very private recipes preserved by the intergenerational loss of information and re-enacted as identity rituals. The re-invention of the past shapes our present."
We invite you to a performative lecture and workshop by Leone Contini, Italian artist who has come to Poland (Kraków and Bytom) for artistic residency. The main subject: pierogi (dumplings).
A forward from the Artist himself:
I spent my first nights in Krakow in a hostel inside a modernist building from the 1930s: Dom Śląski. The building was conceived within the policies of national assimilation toward the Silesians, the inhabitants of a geopolitical very sensitive border. It was in fact erected by the Polish Association of Defense of Western Borderlands and contained a dormitory for the students, a cheap hotel, canteen, bureaus, library, lecture halls, a cinema and few flats. In the same years, on the German side of the freshly establish border (after WW1), massive policies of germanization where carried to standardize this land in between, originally hybrid.
The nights I spent in Dom Śląski represented a sort of Silesian imprinting on my experience of being artist-in-residence in this part of Poland.
Soon after coming to Krakow I moved to Bytom, a former German city in the middle of a mining region. The tension between centre and periphery become crucial in my experience – also because the two notions can easily change their position according with the perspective.
The first layer of research consists in sort of food- fossils, very private recipes preserved by the intergenerational loss of information and re-enacted as identity rituals.
These foods are potential vectors for geopolitical and existential time journeys.
Prazonka, for example, is eaten in very few families that claims German roots. Golabki z kartofli, a recipe from Lwow, is only re-enacted in the local Kresovian cultural centre, attended by the descendants of a traumatized community. Here the harmonic sobriety of golabki cohabits with the bitterness for the lost motherland. Other recipes got lost and only survive in the remembrance. Is the case of an eastern Polish dish called pampuszki, whose alchemic perfection seems to be forever lost. The desire shaped the imagined-pampuszki in different ways, even within the same family. The absence of pampuszki is relevant – and creative. This makes of pampuszki a food-ghost, still able to affect the present. The re-invention of the past shapes our present. Digging into the oblivion is not a merely nostalgic attitude.
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Artist and anthropologist, mainly focused on intercultural frictions, conflict and migrations.