When: Thursday September 07, 2017, 19:00-21:00 hrs, presentation starts at 19:30 hrs. After the TNF the installations will remain on view at the gallery up until Saturday, August 26th.
At the upcoming Thursday-Night-Feature (TNF) of Readytex Art Gallery, visitors will learn more about a surprising, and for Suriname still rather unfamiliar, form of art. For on this evening we introduce guest artist Masha Ru, born in Russia and living and working in the Netherlands since 2007, whose work is centered around the subject of edible soil.
Masha Ru (Facebook) says that she has been interested in eating soil or similar substances such as clay, from a very young age. She is not alone in this. Worldwide people from different cultural backgrounds are known to eat soil. The practice of eating soil even has a name: Geophagy. It is a subject on which a variety of opinions exist. In some countries it is considered to be an ancient cultural, spiritual and healing practice, while elsewhere, mostly in modern western cultures, it is seen as an unhealthy psychological disorder also known as ‘Pica’.
Masha, who has a scientific background by the way, has been doing research on this subject for a number of years and geophagy is present in her artistic practice since 2011. And although many food authorities advise against eating types of soil, because it can potentially contain harmful toxins, it has little effect on communities that do so.
In her performances and installations she invites her public to taste various types of soil and ceramics, as well as to use them as an ingredient for cooking. She is currently in Suriname to deepen her research on this theme, because eating soil, particularly ‘pimba’, is also done in Suriname and is especially common among pregnant maroon women. The white ‘pimba’ balls are easy to find at almost every market in Suriname. Her visit is a research phase for the project PIMBA. CLOSING THE GAP, which will take place in Amsterdam in 2017-2018 with the support of AFK, ‘Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst’ (Facebook). With her project and artistic presentations Masha hopes to lift some of the taboo associated with the subject, and to create a dialogue between cultures, and between science and spirituality.