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Fri, Feb 02



We Are What We You Eat: Opening Reception

Join Heaven Gallery on Friday, February 2nd from 7-11PM for the opening reception of We Are What You We Eat.

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We Are What We You Eat: Opening Reception
We Are What We You Eat: Opening Reception

Time & Location

Feb 02, 2024, 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Chicago, 1550 N Milwaukee Ave #2, Chicago, IL 60622, USA


We Are What We You Eat: Opening Reception

Friday Ferbruary 2nd, 2024


Curated by Fabiola Tosi, Assistant Curator: Vidushi Lohia

Artists:  Cristian Naotli, Gabriel Chalfin-Piney,  Gericault De La Rose, Kyle Bellucci Johanson, Shonna Pryor

We Are What We You Eat questions the validity of contemporary definitions of authenticity in relation to cultural identities, focusing on food preparation and sharing as an empowering cross-cultural practice of re-appropriation and agency.

A legacy of colonialist practices of categorization of non-western cultures, the definition of authenticity is intertwined with a false perception of cultural identities as fixed frameworks. Culture is dynamic, identity is in flux. The label of authenticity is assigned based on a collective social process which identifies in any one individual—person, community or entity—the bearer of agency over certain matters. This process is however influenced by systemic power structures that privilege white-western aesthetics, misplacing agency through appropriation and misrepresentation of colonized cultures.

In a political and social context where cultural identity and diversity are threatened by narratives of oppression and appropriation, communities are reclaiming their identities by reinforcing the relevance of heritage and traditions as drivers of self-affirmation. Storytelling stands at the core of this process. We Are What We You Eat focuses on a familiar space, the table, as the site where narratives of identity and belonging are created and shared. Here, storytelling becomes a tool of awareness to reaffirm a cultural identity that is passed on as heritage from one generation to the next. Building on the commonly used phrase “you are what you eat,” the exhibition title represents a commentary on cultural consumption practices. We, the individuals who can claim ownership over a given cultural identity, are deprived of the agency to assign authenticity over certain practices. Instead You, who are part of a privileged power structure, self-assign authority to determine how to consume cultural products that are not your own. In doing so We—a non-western cultural identity—are consumed by this violent act of colonizing appropriation.

It is when we sit at the table and share meals that we realize how much this simple everyday action represents a common practice, a non-dimensional zone of cultural synergy that we share as humans beyond time and space. Through interactions and storytelling, the dining table becomes a place where individuals are empowered in defining and reclaiming their identity, to reappropriate rooted cultural practices.

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