Mónica Esgueva at BRAIN CAKE at Gaudi Room Casa Mila “La Pedrera”, Barcelona (Dec 2022)
How many ingredients are needed to make a cake? Baking time, the consistency of the dough, the right ingredients, all of which are needed for the final product or perhaps just to satisfy an initial desire.
What does the desire to make a cake and the will to do so imply? Conceptually, the cake has always been an object linked to transgression of normality, a moment of escape and surprise in which to reward oneself or just give in to the allure of vanity. It would be curious at this point to create stitches or links with art.
The processes underlying the creation of a cake may be similar to those underlying the act of art. The desire to escape and to transgress the normal flow of life underpins artistic inspiration and its development.
The brain becomes the symbol of union between cake and art.
The ingredients are the tools, the greedy desire for freedom and escape, the consumption of the meal, the enjoyment and satisfaction of the end result. To weld the mind, capable of operating on the ideas and desires of the artist.
The brain as an iconic symbol, the nerve center of ideas, desires and inspirations. Feelings, sensations, personal experiences and social events, these are often the main ingredients for the realization and creation of an artistic work.
Artworks are the result of something felt but also experienced; a kind of experiment on which artists try out without following precise rules but letting themselves be guided by elements that may be external to them, but also derived from their unconscious.
This is how the recipe for the perfect masterpiece reads: “In order to obtain an admirable example of a work of art, you need to mix the following ingredients: style, technique and aesthetics.
Create a homogeneous mixture, and place it on a crisp and consistent base of experience. Now the cake is almost complete, but don’t forget to place it on the cake tin in an elegant and refined way, and dust it with a fancy crumble. Accompany with a wisp of beauty and a glass of sparkling Chromatism.”
Artist X is happy to follow the recipe. It’s really hard to make mistakes, you just need practice and constant attention to get a good result. To become a good artist. Artist X knows that a good artist is a true virtuoso: he knows everything about the history of art, he imitates the master religiously, he relies with devotion on the teachings of the greats of the past. But sometimes our Artist X is seized by a feeling of unease, of subtle dissatisfaction. He becomes obsessed with thought, and soon his mastery of perfect form and proportion is no longer a source of pride, but a tacit herald of predictable ambition. He can’t get over it, so he decides to talk to the illustrious master who had long ago written down the recipe. The master handed over the paper with the famous recipe and, without adding a word, tore it into a thousand pieces and said: “Whoever treads a path already crossed by a multitude of people, cannot but aspire to be the first of the mediocre. If you want to follow a recipe, write one, then reverse the ingredients, change them, forget them and start again. Put together something daring, combine unpredictable, strange, absurd ingredients, sprinkle them around, throw them far away, shout them out, let your brain free itself from the constraints of outdated ideas and welcome the benefits of every momentary impulse, every sudden inspiration. When you have done this, it will be clear that your recipe will no longer be worth anything. So get rid of it, throw it away and be like the first discoverer of an unexplored land. Never feel like an expert, but always a lifelong learner. The Brain Cake event calls on the artist to let himself be seduced by this exquisite moment of escape, find his ingredients, leave his brain free to stop and free itself, finding its relief in the meal or perhaps just in the contemplation of a new artwork.
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