Lanchonete Coverage & Ensuing Questions
Lanchonete was recently featured in BOMB Magazine's online edition. Also, check out an unabridged version of the same interview. Among other things, the interview gets at some common questions asked of the project ... here's the questions and response:
LV But will the artists work in the lanchonete as cooks?
TL That’s funny because normally people ask me three questions aboutLanchonete. 1) Will the artists exhibit their works in the lanchonete?; 2) Will they have to work in the lanchonete? 3) Will the customers know it’s an artistic project? And my answers are 1) No. 2) No. 3) I hope not. It must be an actual lanchonete and being an actual lanchonete, we can’t predict how the artists are going to get involved. In any group of four artists, one is going to say to me, “fuck you, Todd, I am going to work in the restaurant”. But I am not going to encourage it because I don’t want to say it is necessary. We start with NO and maybe we are going to become a YES. The power source of the project is that the artists should engage with it.
These type questions are important because they provide stimuli for the generative design and articulation of the project. If we hear the same question enough, we know that we need to further clarify either (a) a particular point, or (b) that some things are yet unknown. In a recent talk w/ a colleague the the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, a couple related questions were posed ... the following was offered in response via email:
Lastly, I got the chance to read from the SARAI Reader essay on Lanchonete at the June meeting of the Kristiania Literary Salon ... what a cool group of folks from around the world, living in NYC. Through their engagement (and interest), the idea of renting an adjacent apartment (for visiting collectives) to the project's primary artists residency /apartment became clearer.
Todd Lester writes a monthly blog post on RU’s Dialogues detailing the preparation and implementation of Lanchonete.org, a 5-year residency project in Sao Paulo.
Lanchonete.org celebrates São Paulo‘s ubiquitous lunch counters and their role in the life of the Center. Lanchonete.org invites a group of international artists to reside in – and thus develop a relationship with – the Center of São Paulo, its citizens, institutions, issues and patterns. Begun as a research process, the project materializes into a community-owned restaurant over its five-year duration, and leaves behind a management structure - Associação Espaço Cultural Lanchonete - to contend with the inherent responsibilities of such an endeavor.
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