Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chris Fynsk Evening Lecture

Chris Fynsk gave an evening lecture wherein he discussed how Jean-Luc Nancy might inform our thinking about cuisine. If memory serves the title of the talk was Image en Cuisine, and the ideas came to him after having the rare opportunity to dine at elBulli, voted the best restaurant in the world numerous times over the last several years.

He's working with Nancy's propositions concerning art as well as the image of the food itself with its suggestions of mimesis and participation.

We begin with the image because Ferran Adrià (the head chef of elBulli) is primarily concerned with deconstruction - particularly how the image is mobilized in the distended time of the meal.
  • an image appears in its presentation of itself, through its sameness - an uneven dissemblance that unattaches from itself
  • the image comes upon us by detachment of its traits, its trace - a play of approach and withdrawal and overcoming
There are two forms of dissemblance in Heidegger:
  1. withdrawal (Nancy's favorite)
  2. a play of dissemblance, where we can't tell
  • the latter gives art its ambiguity or opacity as art, dissembles itself, it remarks
We enter into a savory world with elBulli, an infusion through penetration which touches our own intimacy. There is a sixth sense that is enticed when Adrià touches upon our terroir.

In order to understand gourmandise we must first understand hospitality
  • the real presence of the image in cuisine obliges us to practice a new form of hospitality
  • with Adrià's approach there is an interruption of the taking of the Host (referencing Communion)
  • There is a double play of participation and mimesis which brings about a synesthesia
  • Stimmel - you can't think a ground effectively without the stimmel of Dasein according to Heidegger
There are two phases of the culinary image:
  1. visual and olfactory - a visual form of brilliance; often the visual presentation gives one pause because we don't want to disturb its presence
  2. the moment of truth - an experience of vast ...
The element of hesitation: "Can I eat this?" is always present in cuisine.
  • "Is this thing edible?" Upon putting into our mouth, after disrupting presentation, when the culinary habitus is disrupted, it occurs to us that we might not be able to digest this.
  • That we might not be able to digest this, or that it may kill us
We appreciate what exceeds our expectations in presentation
  • elBulli can't avoid whether it's good or bad tasting
  • the guests were forced to rethink their expectations of what taste can be
If there is a rhythm in the image of the dish, there is also a rhythm in the sequence of the presentation of the dishes
  • Can we align this rhythm with the rhythm of hospitality in mitsein?
  • How would we describe the end of the meal?
What is the meaning of this meal?
  • an intellectual stimulation which touches on memory and perception
  • Groundlessness in the empty-centered bread which is shattered before we eat our dessert

No comments:

Post a Comment