What if the way through the stomach is not to the heart, but to fantasy?
Could a specific amount of fried gouda affect our dreams?
Exploring the relationship between digesting and dreaming, The Sea of Cheese challenges Europe’s contemporary, future or parallel political imagination. The title of the exhibition has been inspired by a para-scientific theory according to which eating certain types of cheese can intensify our dreaming experience. The exhibition thus focuses on the impact of food on the process of creative thinking, both from an individual and collective perspectives. What makes dreams exist independently of our declarations and worldviews, is there a culinary logic behind dreams and nightmares?
The exhibition offers ingredients, recipes and diets that can, literally and symbolically, stimulate alternative scenarios and immersion in dream visions. Products and objects such as celery, teeth, broth, monster, blood or wax suddenly take on new meanings, as in the Egyptian Dream Book, introducing us to a surreal atmosphere in which the dreamt and digested matter mix and mingle.
Divided into three plateaus; the exhibition begins in the basement, continuing through the sumptuous banquet hall on the first floor, up to the projection room located on the second floor above. This is where we meet an octopus and spiders and learn the secret of celery – the key to success and social advancement. In the banquet hall, the works are exposed mainly on the table – the stage on which charades of dream meanings and symbols are played. The darkened room in the basement of the TRAFO building has been converted into a forest from which individual objects, videos and images emerge like nightmares.
The artists from Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine create a dreamy scenario in which historical narratives, cultural norms and political events are presented as myths, phantasms or figures from nightmares. Sweet and sour national identities and myths concerning political power bubble up in the regional, Eastern European melting pot, seasoned with a pinch of witchcraft, queerness and toadstool cap potion.
The opening of the exhibition will be accompanied by St. Andrew’s Day performative evening, with performances by Barbora Kleinhamplova and Jan Matýsek, wax fortune-telling prepared by Gideon Horváth (Your desire is an overripe fruit), songs by Maria Lukačová and a tyromantic session by Gregor Rozański.