Culinary Schooling (duration performance)

August 2015 to December 2017 - Montréal, Canada

Context

The notion of performativity contains many definitions. One touchs the notion of successful results in sports, at school or at work. The capacity to maintain a high level of yield. The person who perform those outputs had to adapt to their field and become this "efficient tool". A performance of a role is also here present.

In Canada, there is yet no school for Art and Food, or Food Art, or Eat Art that is yet known to the artist. A schooling in Gastromical Professionnal Cooking was then the closest option to approach the creative possibilities around the food material. The Institut d'Hôtellerie et de Tourisme du Québec had the biggest reputation in Montréal and the best connection on the culinary creative scene in the city. That is where this durationnal performance started.  

Description of performance

The Institut d'Hôtellerie et de Tourisme du Québec (ITHQ) accepted every year a very limited amount of students in is Gastronomical Professional Cooking section. However, the artist had recently ended some theatrical studies and worked for a food community service where the manager had great writting skills. Therefore, the interview was well-acted to make-believe that the artist skills in the kitchen where, if not, above exceptional. The preceeding documentation had also set up the stage of an exceptional kitchen worker. Annie was therefore accepted in September 2015 as a student in this prestigious school.

The costume were very classical white chef vest, pied-de-poule pants with aprons, kitchen steel shoes and a small assistant-cook hat. The accessories came in a black suitcase including various kitchen knives for different ingredients, a serie of pâtisserie equipment, cooking ustensiles of all sizes and many more surprises. 

The first days, weeks and months were increasingly harder as the tempo in the kitchen is very high and the information, only given few times. It was exeptionally hard for the artist to stay under disguise and pretend wanting to be a professionnal chef, because the teachers constantly challenged them and tested their limits. To be a cook was litterallly a sacrifice of one's time, focus and all energies. The classes and the internships were draining.

When Annie tought she would only learn about her favourite material of creation, she actually opened her eyes on the food industry, its actors and its realities. A world in need of recognition for the long hours of work and the poor pay rates, all hidden behind every restaurant kitchen doors. This wake-call gave birth to a serie of 31 performances during the month of July 2017. They were mostly inspired by this visit in the vast universe of professionnal cooking.

After many adventures and battles, the artist finally reached her goal to receive a diploma in Professional cooking on November 7th 2018. She could not attend the consecration ceremony in Montreal but celebrated the end of her longuest Eat Art performance by resigning her last cooking position to dedicate anew all her attentions and energies to the art world.

The goal was never to become a professional chef but to end a difficult performance in the world of Eat Art. Nevertheless, this proximity between Art and Life gave this performance a profund transformative power over the artist.

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