Tongue Town

A ten year retrospective of the studio’s work in the setting of an olde English market town - MAM Sao Paulo, Brazil, Summer 2017

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CIDADE DA LÍNGUA / TONGUE TOWN - MAM São Paulo, Brazil, 5th June – 3rd September

Ten thousand thousand are their tongues
But all their joys are one

- Isaac Watts, 1701 -

In the setting of an olde English market town Bompas & Parr have recreated some of their most captivating installations and installed new work. The multi-sensory experience explores contemporaneous research into flavour perception and the body, plus trends and forecasts affecting our relationship with food inviting you to engage with flavour from an unusual perspective, and represents a ten year retrospective of the studio’s work.

Tongue Town will exists in its own dimension away from the regular world. Beyond the threshold of the town gate you must prepare themselves to forget and relearn everything you know about flavour and taste. The exhibition is spatially designed to allow you to create a unique journey through the town, coming to your own conclusions.

The exhibition sets out to give you an entertaining and educational experience that challenges you to think about what’s on the end of your fork, helping you to better articulate the experience of what is going on across your full taste apparatus, from your tongue, to nose, to digestive tract. Tongue Town further considers how all the senses work together.

You be taken on a physical and mental journey, tasting in all manner of ways and will go on to learn Bompas & Parr’s theory about environment and flavour which will form the inspiration for anyone to go on to create the extraordinary.

The exhibition is formatted as a town, allowing food to be explored on the level of the domestic; it’s proper place.

The exhibition features:
 - 302 curated objects from Bompas & Parr’s past work and studio archives
- Mouth Entrance: Internalising Food
 - Initiation ritual with the Town Crier; know thy palate!
 - Sweet Shop: Unmoulding Food, the early story of Bompas & Parr
 - Tavern – Strawberry weather system for your tongue
 - Wandering Plant – a curious shrub that self-consciously explores the exhibition with you
 - School Room – Theory of Food. Here Bompas & Parr presents a design methodology honed over a decade.
 - Top Ten Feasts in History
 - Soyer Memorial Library
- British Menu Archive
- Doctor’s: Being Food. This includes pill cam footage of the digestive tract and a stomach bouncy castle by Andy Best and Merja Puusteinen
 - Illustrations from early collaborator Emma Rios
 - Sound design by constant ally Dom James
 - Tongue based wishing well by Candida
 - Stocks for food based humiliation
 - Theatre: Playing Food. A selection of Bompas & Parr’s food films
 - Pharmacy: The Future of Food
 - Apotropaic marks
 - Archaic chalices

Curatorial note by Felipe Chaimovich curator of MAM
What is the future of food? As we face growing ecological challenges, the debate about the strategies for feeding humanity must involve artists, industrial designers, and scientists in a creative collaboration. The British team Bompas and Parr took this initiative ten years ago, and they bring to Brazil for the first time the world they invented.

Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are both the partners behind the company with their name and the two characters that perform in banquets, films, museums, books, and flamboyant events all around the world. In order to develop their poetics, they have been working with different professionals, such as musicians, food historians, academic scientists, contemporary artists, food and beverage industrial designers, and graphic designers. The result is a unique set of works that are redefining the relationship between art and food.

Tongue Town is composed by a series of installations that address the past, the present, and the future of food. They are displayed as parts of an English town with a typical architecture from the 15th century. The atmosphere evokes dusk, with all the mysterious appearances brought by the approaching night. Food is experienced through several ways: palate, smell, touch, vision, and hearing. The past of food is presented by means of a collection of objects and images. The present appears as the world of Bompas and Parr. The future is explored in the “Pharmacy”, with works that look at the realm of science fiction.

All the issues in Tongue Town are treated in a unique style: fantasy, party, and the typical British sense of humour. Thus we address art and gastronomy celebrating a decade of Bompas and Parr.

Cidade Da Lingua / Tongue Town
​5th June – 3rd September

São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Brazil
Av. Pedro Álvares Cabral, s/n°
Parque Ibirapuera, São Paulo