Rosalyn D'Mello: Vinagr. Fermenting the Multitude

Villa Romana is delighted to invite you to the first appointment of a series of activations of our programme A House for Mending, Troubling, Repairing. The series will unfold on a monthly basis until the end of the year, and will accompany the 2023 fellows until the end of their stay in the Villa.

For the first iteration of the series, we are happy to announce an intervention by Rosalyn D’Mello which will happen this Saturday May 27th , from 4pm to 7pm.

Rosalyn is a feminist writer, art critic, columnist, essayist, editor and researcher currently based in the Italian Alps. She is the author of A Handbook for My Lover. She writes a weekly feminist column for "mid-day", and a monthly memoir-based art column on contemporary art for "STIR". She was a fellow at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (2021-22), an Ocean Fellowship Mentor (2021), and the recipient of an India Foundation for the Arts research grant (2019-2022). Her writing has been internationally published and anthologised. She is represented by David Godwin Associates.

At Villa Romana, Rosalyn presents Vinagr: Fermenting the Multitude, a feminist exploration of transgenerational culinary practices. The performance lecture situates itself in the realm of a kitchen alongside the active preparation of poie, a Goan bread that is itself a product of syncretism, rooted in Goa’s centuries-long occupation by the Portuguese. As the yeast ferments, D’Mello will share her embodied reflections on acts of citation and translation within the immigrant kitchen, centering it as a site of metabolic discourse, study and experimentation. How does a substance enter a kitchen? What substitutions and transformations are made in improvised spaces? How do socio-political contexts and conditions influence the availability of ingredients and their synthesis into a culinary language? If we consider the recipe as an artifact translated across geographies and temporalities through oral or written formats or simply through the method of physical demonstration, what are the ensuing implications on the concept of authenticity? Can the written recipe be regarded as instructive art? Can the oral recipe summon ancestral spirits?

Audience members will be invited to help shape or roll the bread. The lecture will culminate in a sampling.

With A House for Mending, Troubling, Reparing, Villa Romana proposes a public programme of workshops, laboratories, presentations and artistic interventions characterised by doing together, ecological thinking, and anti-racist and anti-discriminatory acting, to elaborate practices of radical conviviality, inclusion, sharing and restitution. The times of crisis we live in force us to rethink the way in which we co-inhabit the planet, and to reconsider some of the founding values of Western culture - a culture that has discovered itself to be ecocidal, and epistemicidal towards systems of knowledge other than the grand Eurocentric narrative. In order to imagine an ecologically and socially sustainable future, Villa Romana opens itself up to the city as a laboratory for critical reflection and confrontation, as a space for socio-artistic-cultural experimentation and, at the same time, as a workshop and home for developing tools and practices that enable us to tackle the difficult work of repair to which we are called.

Rosalyn D'Mello

Rosalyn D'Mello

The project is realised with the contribution of the Fondazione CR Firenze.

The Villa Romana e.V. maintains the Villa Romana and the Villa Romana Prize.
The main sponsor is the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Other sponsors are the Deutsche Bank Foundation, the BAO Foundation as well as - project related - numerous private individuals, companies and foundations from all over the world.
Villa Romana e.V. is supported by: