by Franca

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Franca Formenti

Concept author(s)

Franca Formenti

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

I am an artivist .

Concept author(s) Country


Other author(s) Country


Friendly Competition

Love Conflict Imagination (2010-2011)

Competition category


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

I am an artivist and I do performance on and offline .

Check out the Love Conflict Imagination 2010-2011 outlines of Memefest Friendly competition.

Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The FOODPOWER project began through research in December 2007 and by observing the changes in today’s society regarding the theme of food.
Today, food is the new protagonist of contemporary society, a role of excellence that was once reserved for fashion.
Fashion has kept a privileged position in people’s minds, because it directly connects to our physicality and our bodies, despite it being outside of us and acting upon the external surface alone.
Food directly touches the most intimate part of our physicality and viscerally becomes a part of us every day.

Today’s society is living a great existential crisis that generates discomfort and brings suffering, depression and uneasiness, caused by a wrong economical structure. Generally speaking there is an incapacity to be happy and satisfied about one’s own existence, which in turn creates aggressiveness and fear and a collective sense of insecurity.
Food becomes a structural element that insinuates itself in the meshes of this discomfort, on the one hand making people think about the limitations of the economy when it is lacking and on the other hand, touching the pleasure spheres of satisfaction when it is in abundance.

FOODPOWER is a collective trip inside the deprivation and abundance of food, a trip inside one of the structural elements of every day life.
In food the individual looks for awareness of his or her own existence. Food becomes contemporary fashion capable of entering into our bodies.

In FOODPOWER food becomes an object and a taboo, and in this sense it becomes a work of art. Like a sex toy, once scorned as a disgusting game, it becomes an object of design to put on display without shame or taboos. Food becomes the possibility to think about one’s own body, often marketed as an object to make profit for multinational companies.

FOODPOWER enters into a form of art called artivism, which focuses on the idea of creating activism through the language of art that uses technology or the philosophy of technology.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

I mostly use performance or rather, the staging of a situation so that the audience can be subjected to my actions unconsciously, thus becoming a part of my work, therefore relating to the work by creating a different process each time.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

My research is focused on the attention given to food and as a consequence, on hunger and gluttony, so my audience becomes part of a silent game, a kind of trap which forces them to be aware of their choices and behaviour, therefore provoking some kind of reflection in them.
I believe that one of the most difficult experiences for contemporary society is that of reflection or rather, leading large audiences to reflect on themes that are very important for the well-being of humanity.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

Unfortunately I had the affirmation that in order to sensitise the audience, one needs very invasive tools, the same that are used in a more subtle way by multi-national companies in order to create dependency toward the many products that are available, hiding the various forms of manipulation.
My performances always seem to be very inviting and polite but they are in actual fact very violent and ruthless and the audience find themselves disoriented. My performances provoke emotions of discomfort and frustration but with the peculiarity of having a “way out” through reflection on the importance, or rather the power, of food.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

Because it is a trap, a DELICIOUS TRAP.
In fact I always invite my visitors to come with an empty stomach.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

My work with Foodpower is carried out through performance and my research is moving through a project that deals with ethical restoration, a kind of restaurant-performance where I force the customers, through the deliciousness of the delicacies that are at a very affordable price, to undergo my will to make them aware of the power of food and its perversions, all of which creates an income.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

Curators Comments

Alen Ožbolt

I may agree with most of written description, food is the power, for sure. Checking the work itself, so the documents, videos from performance I have some questions:
- Performances are happened inside the art gallery so inside the frame. Food it’s placing into ‘other’ contexts. Is it in this context food art or culture or really like is mentioned “one of the structural elements of every day life” or is used for some kind of research?
- What is the ambition of the event and who are the contributors ie are the visitors participants or are they observers? How the ambience “becoming a part of a work”? How the visitors are challenging, what they are discussing or they are just spectators and passive? Artists Alan Kaprow introduced the idea of participation - as opposed to visiting - into the discourse of art in the late 1950ies
- Food is a subject of the project, although not just a visual-aesthetical or ‘internal’ pleasure and usufructuary, though as complex (cultural, economical, political, …) issue in contemporary society is the foundation of the project. What happened when it “becomes an object and a taboo”?
- As the food is nice and sweetie presented as part of wealthy and prosperous world, where is hungry, the great poverty, indigence of the big part of the world become aware? Where are “discomfort and frustration”?
Food is the motive in art from the early art, Egyptian, Greek, in Renaissance, too… became popular again in Dutch still life’s called “ombitjens” where the wealthy Dutch society of golden 17th cent is luxuriously presented. The question is can we be feed by looking beautiful master art work presented the variety of food? Artists G. Matta-Clark used the metaphor of cooking recurrently in early work; it represents the idea of a sort of alchemical transformation of materials, even if the results were rarely palatable. For instance, he cooked up pots of agar that he would mix with all sorts of organic and nonorganic materials and then ferment and dry in flat trays; he hung the moldy, rumpled results like paintings. The culmination of Matta-Clark's fascination with cooking was Food, both an art project and a functioning restaurant--the first in SoHo--which he opened in 1971 with a number of artist and dancer friends. No loner, he was always part of a network, a community, serving food to friends and associates, mostly artists. Food was also the beginning of his architectural cuts; while refurbishing the space, one of the team remembered, "Gordon decided to cut himself a wall-sandwich: he cut a horizontal section through the wall and the door and fell in love with it." Daniel Spoerri’s art feast and latter Rikrit Tiravania understands food like a device for meeting people, communicating and exchange.