Cooking Sections (Daniel Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) Biography

Cooking Sections is a UK-based artistic duo comprising Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe. Together the artists examine the systemic composition of the world through spatial practices that engage with food.

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Early Years

Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe formed Cooking Sections in London in 2013. The pair met at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, where Schwabe gained an MA (Hons) and Pascual completed a PhD.

One of the first projects initiated by the artists was the Empire Remains Christmas Pudding (2013). The performance and installation traced changes in the postcolonial market for food through the re-creation of the eponymous colonial culinary hallmark. The Empire Remains Christmas Pudding became one of the first products developed for Cooking Section's Empire Remains Shop (2016).

Cooking Sections Artworks

Cooking Sections explore the implications of food on the order of the world: from its history to its ecology, through the production of site-responsive installations, performance, film, mapping, and restaurant collaborations.

CLIMAVORE

Cooking Sections' long-term 'CLIMAVORE' project (2015–ongoing) has explored practices food production and consumption, and its relation to the climate crisis. One of the earliest iterations of the project, CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones (2015), featured a multi-part table installed on the shores of Portree at the Isle of Skye. The installation served as a dining table at high tide, while at low tide it served as an underwater oyster table.

The duo has since developed various related artworks, including films, postcards, and installations. They have collaborated on learning programmes and local projects, exploring and advocating for sustainable approaches to food waste, ocean farming, and other forms of food production.

Part of the project has seen the Cooking Sections producing CLIMAVORE menus in collaboration with restaurants and galleries in Skye, Raasay, London, and many other sites and cities. The CLIMAVORE menu focuses on food generated through more sustainable farming practices, using ingredients that improve the quality of soil, water, and marine habitats.

In 2021, Cooking Sections was nominated for a Turner Prize for the 'CLIMAVORE' project. In 2022, the duo collaborated with The Magazine, the restaurant within London's Serpentine North Gallery, to create a new menu based on regenerative farming practices.

Oysterying Room

In 2020, the duo participated in that year's Taipei Biennial with Oystering Room (2020), which is inspired by the centuries-old local san ho tu technique—a binding paste mixing oyster shells, glutinous rice, and maltose sugar without cement. This new site-responsive installation uses Taiwanese discarded shells to reimagine the porous materiality of other water futures.

Oyster mariculture has been a staple presence on Taiwan's Southwest coast. Grown close to the shore shore, the oysters do not require freshwater pumping, and as filter feeders they improve the quality of the ocean around them as they breathe. Their shells are also an important source of lime, which their offspring—or spat—depend on to attach to and grow shells of their own. Piles of oyster shells line the roads of Yunlin, Tainan, Chiayi, and Pingtung Counties, discarded remnants of consumed oysters that are also birth grounds for those that will, in turn, be consumed.

Cooking Sections teamed up with Taiwanese experts on coastal ecology, craft, material science and architectural heritage, to develop a new san ho tu composite material for the show. Visitors to the Oystering Room were invited to rest on re-purposed shell surfaces and apply specially-developed oyster shell exfoliating treatment to their skin, while listening to audio narration describing alternative ways of living with the coast.

Exhibitions

Cooking Sections have been the subject of solo and group exhibitions internationally.

Select solo exhibitions include CLIMAVORE: Seasons Made to Drift, SALT Beyoğlu, Istanbul (2021); Salmon: A Red Herring, Tate Britain, London (2020); The Empire Remains Shop Franchise, Contour Biennale, Mechelen (2017).

Select group exhibitions include Back to Earth, Serpentine, London (2022); British Art Show 9, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen (2021); Levitate!, Q21 International, Musuems Quartier, Vienna (2015); The Politics of Food, Delfina Foundation, London (2014).

Website and Instagram

Cooking Section's website can be found here, and their Instagram can be found here.

Ocula | 2022

Cooking Sections (Daniel Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) Featured Artworks

Oystering Room by Cooking Sections (Daniel Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) contemporary artwork sculpture, installation
Cooking Sections (Daniel Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe) Oystering Room, 2020 Oyster shell terrazzo surface with sculptural beds, dimensions variable
Taipei Fine Arts Museum

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