Klasse Karen Pontoppidan  |  Raum A.EG.01

Who nourishes you?

According to the Royal Spanish Academy the term nourishment comprises those elements that can ensure the existence of what is tangible, such as fire, or of what is intangible, such as qualities, feelings, and values.


Why do we wonder who nourishes us? So that we can shed light on the people who lie behind said nourishment and not on the nourishment itself; so that we can shift our focus from produce to producers.


In addition, there is nourishment for our physical bodies and nourishment for our intellects. Under the pretext of offering the latter and bringing “civilization” to the native people of the Americas, the conquistadors set foot in our land after its “discovery” and displayed all their violence and brutality. This is “who” nourishes our soul, this is indeed our God.


The myth of the noble savage, Bartolomé de las Casas - 1530

"... the Indians were natural beings who inhabited, gentle as cows, the "earthly paradise". In their pre-Fall innocence, they had been waiting, quietly and for millennia, for Christian instruction to arrive."


These objects were produced using the lost wax technique. When using this technique, the original object is reduced to mere ashes, it disappears, it gets burned in an oven and the resulting mould is then filled with metal.


These artifacts, that were originally avocado peels and corn kernels, which are both originally from the Americas and now readily available all over Europe, can allow us to question both the kind of nourishment we consume on a daily basis, the food we take for granted and whose origin we never even ponder over, and the colonizing evangelization of America, its strategies and overall brutality. This questioning can further expand its scope to include the exploitation of human and natural resources in developing countries, the one that took place centuries ago but is still perpetuated nowadays in order to meet the needs of the most powerful countries.


These artifacts appeal to our consciousness, prompting several questions: is the relationship between rich and developing countries still articulated according to the lost wax technique? Is this relationship still utilitarian and, therefore, colonizing in essence?
Can we, as Latin Americans, take these artifacts and return them to the land to prompt our own regeneration?

María Eugenia Muñoz