30th São Paulo Biennial

30th São Paulo Biennial

geluminas exhibition


Mattar’s earliest gastroperformance, “Gelúminas”, was first presented in an interactive installation as part of the 2006 Safety Nest exhibition, organized by SESC in Rio de Janeiro and later in São Paulo, and curated by Nicola Goretti. Several designers from different countries were invited to create homelike spaces to underscore and comment on the role of homes against the backdrop of 21st century issues of personal security and urban violence. While most of the other designers in the exhibition focused on objects in and outside the home, Mattar connected ‘security’ to ‘food’, and got “food security”, which is an existing term for the condition of having enough food in store, and access to it. Around the time of “Gelúminas”, 1st world countries had been going through a minor fad where a few people claimed to have no need for food and to be able to “live on sunlight”. The irony of watching this from a 3rd world country still plagued with pockets of famine was not lost on Mattar. As a tongue-in-cheek comment on that contrast, she made her home-space at the exhibition a place where food remained but ephemerally –and, of course, the poorer the home, the more ephemeral the food in it. She devised three chandeliers –a piece of décor completely out of place in a poor home–, accessible at eye-level, with a total of 3,000 colorful cups of jelly instead of candles, each of which was individually lit from behind. The cups were filled with jelly in six different cocktail flavours. The jelly in each cup had one molded letter of the phrase “COMA LUZ” (“eat light”), when strung together. During the exhibition, we were invited to eat the cups of jelly –thus achieving what the live-on-sunlight fadsters could never really do.