Language Eating

Jan-Erik Andersson, AmosLAB and the Turku City Art Museum (WAM) arranged Language Eating, a two days happening 19–20.9.2015.

The main idea of the event was to explore the role of food and language to give identity and solidarity to people instead of the national borders. The highlight of the event was the Language Eating-performance where languages and cultures met for a symbolic meal.
In Turku around 100 different languages are spoken and the ambitious goal was to gather as many people as possible representing these languages, for the performance. Exhibition assistant Cecilia Gustafsson succeeded in getting persons representing 22 languages to take part in the performance.
In an attempt to mix the lectures with artistic interventions, sound artists Shawn Decker (Chicago) and Dirk Huelstrunk (Frankfurt) together with Edible Finns (Finland) were invited to participate.The result became a wholeness stretching into the reality of today’s society with the refugee issues, but also into the very personal, introvert worlds of for example Kurt Schwitters'”non-sense”language in Ursonaten.
The aim of AmosLAB is to produce material which can be used for educational purposes. Therefore all the participants have kindly given permission to publish their lectures (in English, Swedish and Finnish) and most of the performances on video (YouTube).

Day 1

Performance by Edible Finns: Kielikylpy. The Finnish word Kielikylpy consists of two words; kieli meaning tongue as well as language, and kylpy meaning bath. The English translation, Language Immersion, doesn’t have the same connotations. In the beginning of the video is an introduction to the Language Eating happening by curator Susanna Hujala.

Business lunch. CEO:s from companies, or other people with experience from having business lunches, discuss eating habits and cultural differences. The serving is handled by the performance group Edible Finns. Participants: Christoffer Taxell, Bengt Kristensson Uggla, Pekka Ruola, Roger Broo and surprise guests from the audience.

Lecture by PhD Ruth Illman: Good Food – Better Soul?

Lecture by artist and Doctor in Fine Arts Jyrki Siukonen: In search of the Ursprache, The end of the Universal languages of the Baroque era.

Lecture by PhD Päivi Mehtonen: The abstract element in language and literature in the early 20th century modernism (dada, Kandinsky, Schwitters).

Sound artist Dirk Huelstrunk performs and discusses Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonate. Due to copyright issues only the discussion afterwards is documented on video.

Abendbrot happening in the club of the german speaking community in Turku. A short lecture about the Abentbrot tradition. Visitors make themselves abendbrot from a variety of ingredients.

Day 2

The main performance Language Eating, with people representing 22 different language groups in Turku. They share food, which they brought with them, with the audience. Sound artist Dirk Huelstrunk made a sound loop of the participants speaking the word food in their own language.

Apple Concert. Artist Jan-Erik Andersson with sound artist Shawn Decker. Interactive sound performance in four parts. In one part the audience becomes a choir, each person eating an apple simultaneously.

Stefania Federico: MangiAMO…an emotional travel into the food

Rico ja ruoka. Video movie by Jan-Erik Andersson about the Italian restaurant owner Ulderico de Santis, who has been having restaurants in Turku for 30 years. He speaks in a Finnish language he has learned solely by serving people in the restaurant.(Video will be published later)