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Cycle Projects is a New York City based design, architectural, and interiors firm with a focus on hospitality, high-end residential, and adaptive reuse projects.
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This Ain’t Havana

“A Walk through Q,” is a project by Craig Shillitto with Yoandy Rizo Fiallo and Osmany Abel García Fuentes, uses the widespread embrace of Queens’ diverse imported food traditions as a lens through which to consider the cultural impact of immigration. Housed within the installation Entre Fronteras by the Cuban architects Yoandy Rizo Fiallo and Osmany Abel García Fuentes, Shillitto responds to their “between frontiers” theme. The artwork is structured around the framework of a barbecue-based meal – an opportunity for casual conviviality that holds familiarity in a surprising range of cultures. Bringing pit and grill masters from a wide array of Latin American BBQ traditions together, their dishes – produced serially – offer a symbolic journey across and through the Caribbean, Central, and South America. The wood from which the installation is constructed will be transformed into a long table that is built at one end while it is dismantled at the other, as new parties arrive to dine. The table grows and is devoured in a migration through the space over the course of the meal, with its dismantled materials feeding the fires that make the meal. It has a metaphorical affinity to the immigration of culture through food, using the wood component of the architects’ space as a means and method for the exchange at the dining table.  Further, it takes building materials, which are incredibly scarce in Cuba, and makes a spectacle of their consumption, in an analog to the relative attitudes towards materials and sustainability in Cuba and the US. Devouring the table on which diners eat in order to cook their meals offers commentary on the lack of sustainability of the food distribution system in the US. Fundamentally, the project asks diners to consider the ways in which word of mouth and person to person contacts work to transmit cultural heritage, and the experience of immigration for both the migrants and existing residents, while drawing a contrast between the sustainability of traditional foodways in contrast to the way that food is produced, distributed and consumed in the US.

Location:

Queens

Year:

2014

Category:

Dining, Engage