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Antropofagia nuestra de cada día
Antropophagy, our daily ritual

Anthropophagy, our daily ritual is the series that Alê Souto has worked on since 2017, synthesizing his personal and collective research on ideas of identity, belonging, and displacement through a confrontation with his inquiries into the universe of consumption as homogenizing cultural elements of capitalist societies. Each of the works constructs the postulates proposed by the artist from his poetic for some of these reflections.

Anomaly of my Migrant Stomach is a bold and reflective exploration of the impact of food culture and consumption on our identity. This unique work takes shape from a matrix created with food packaging, an amalgamation of products consumed in both Mexico and Brazil. Upon this meticulously composed structure is mapped the representation/interpretation of a digestive system, transforming this support into a visual metaphor of the human body and its relationship with diverse food intake.

By combining food packaging typical of two distinct cultures, Souto highlights the intersection between food, cultural identity, and social transformations. The processes of standardization and hygiene strip away flavor, roots, and origins, generating an idea of identity built fragilely upon fictionalized food narratives that have nourished and malnourished it along the way.

This crucible of standardized containers, now endowed with their own history and origin, becomes the canvas for a visual autobiographical narrative of the artist that exposes his entrails for the sake of introspection and critique. His exposed body serves a contemporary version of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp's Anatomy Lesson, but—unlike Rembrandt—here it does not depict apprentice surgeons; rather, we actively become them by confronting the work as a means to explore broader issues of life stories, identity, belonging, and social change.

Alê Souto brings to life Totem in Memory of Bishop Sardinha by creating a mobile totem composed of cardboard fragments, suggesting the creation of a character—walking and drifting—through visual and textual collage. The marks, icons, and highlighted words on these boxes construct a narrative about processed foods consumed by the artist.

The title refers us to an emblematic character and moment that fueled the anthropophagic movement in Brazil: the legend/event that the Caeté indigenous people consumed Bishop Sardinha to attain a higher sacredness. This 16th-century event was used as justification against the Tupí, triggering conflicts and stigmatization that remain contemporary conflicts in Brazilian culture. Through these packages, it is suggested that what is consumed responds to an imposition of "order and progress" socialized since the 19th century and perpetuated by the capitalist food industry. This totem, symbolizing the assimilation of the "properties" of consumed foods, raises questions about the reality of these benefits provided by processed foods, about colonial ideologies regarding knowledge of food production by multinational brands, and their role in constructing a social order disguised as free will.

Alê Souto invites critical rebellion against these impositions, urging exploration of new forms of existence, reversing these processes, and leveraging ancestral knowledge from his country of origin to challenge conventions. The call is to find new ways of being and relating to consumption, cultural identity, and ideological impositions. As spectators, we are urged to consider alternatives to build a new paradigm where we could be the main characters, reflecting this totem that only needs a direction to start walking.

SuKarne Delivery plays on words with both the literal meaning, the brand, and the idea of extremities, which refer to religious miracle votive pieces, to pose the question of who truly has power over our bodies.

Dyan Del Rivero

EXHIBITED IN:
Gastronómica: 30 artistas contemporáneos reintrepretando el mundo de la gastronomía - MMACJS, Cuernavaca, Mexico, December 2, 2023

Gira Festival de Resistência - KunstHaus KULE, Berlin, Germany, September 6-9, 2018


Fiesta antropofágica - Pasaporte Cultural, Mexico City, Mexico, November 10, 2017
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