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Meet the Artists and Creators of Foodscape
Carmel Beer is an artist, performer and chef. She graduated from SVT, MASPA- Gaaton Kibbutz and Scuola CONIA in Cesena (Italy). Carmel teaches sculpting tools and techniques at the SVT in Jerusalem and creates events on the border between performance, fine art, and culinary pleasure – redefining the ‘event’ as a form of art which stimulates all the senses. Carmel’s projects have been presented in Cesena and Santarcangelo, Prague, London, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv.
Michal Evytar is a multi-disciplinary designer focusing on culinary performance. She completed a Masters in Experimental Design from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, and now creates food experiences that challenge familiarity by combining design, stage, and food practices. Michal worked as a pastry chef in Kunming, China, and specializes in Israeli cuisine. She has been a chef in several restaurants in Israel and has led innovation processes for the food industry at FeinCook Culinary Lab in the Galilee.
About Studio Mela
Together, Carmel and Michal form Studio Mela: a dynamic team focused on identifying, extracting and enhancing the sensory triggers that exist in the world around us . Through food, design and movement, they examine the relations between culture and pleasure to stimulate audiences’ senses in meaningful and innovative ways. For more info, please visit MelaFood.com
Speaking with Studio Mela
Where does the concept for Foodscape come from?
In our studio practice, we are constantly seeking to define ourselves and our surroundings through the prism of taste.
The question that often arises is: How can we define a flavor of a certain place?
When thinking of our homeland, Israel, this question becomes complicated. Even Israeli cuisine can be charged with political meaning. We want to avoid this argument and instead consider flavor as a clean, physical and emotional human experience.
So, we travelled the country, visited various areas in different seasons, and explored the scenery. What we saw was the beautiful flora of Israel. We collected some samples, we tasted them, and we felt at home.
Through Foodscape, we aim to share this experience with audiences outside of Israel by taking them on a multisensory journey through the country’s vegetation and flavors. By extracting, preserving, and infusing the essence of various Israeli herbs into gazoz, participants will be able to experience the tastes of Israel while strolling through a 3,000 square foot representation of its terrain.
While you were building Foodscape, you were also in residence at Washington University and Boston University. How has your Israeli identity informed your teaching experience in the States?
The opportunity of teaching young and enthusiastic students has been a great privilege for us. It allows us to redefine our practice and encounter again and again the importance of the intersection between food, art, and life.
Teaching in the States as an outsider has made us understand even more how food and art define a culture. We’ve had many discussions with our students about the power of food and what we eat to build our bodies and identities.
Our artistic work is very much influenced by our Israeli identity. The attempt to translate this practice to American students was an opportunity to view Israeli culture with new eyes.
What do you hope people will learn or appreciate most about Israel through Foodscape?
We hope that audiences will join us in acknowledging and admiring the diversity of Israeli culture through its flora.
Each plant has its own roots, scents, and medicinal properties. Through these different characteristics, audiences will be able to embark on a profound, sensorial experience, and to let their tongue help orient them in space.
We would also like to emphasize the importance of preservation: Preserving taste, preserving memories and preserving nature for future generations.
Want to bring Foodscape to your community’s celebration of Israel’s 75th birthday? Learn more about Foodscape and how to bring this experience to you, contact Jamie Darsa at firstname.lastname@example.org
BAMAH is an independent nonprofit that strengthens connections between communities in North America and Israel by bringing the vibrancy of Israeli culture to U.S. campuses and cities. For more info, please visit BAMAHArts.org