On May 3, Manuel Molina Martagon will begin EL RECREO, a project that will turn Recess into a hang out space for restaurant workers, with diverse programming ranging from entertainment activities to conversations and workshops addressing current issues concerning the food industry. Throughout the project comfort food will be served free to anybody that works in a restaurant.
Molina Martagon’s interest in the food industry workforce comes from the connection between his hometown, Puebla, and New York. After his city, New York is the place with most Poblano population in the world. The city restaurant industry depends heavily on the labor of people from Puebla. –probably your lunch was made by a Poblano today-. Since the 80s the Poblano immigrants have made New York their destination, in which one of the outcomes of their immigrant experience has been mastering international cuisines using the foundations of culinary tradition and sensibility from Mexico. Regardless of the cultural hype and trendiness of the culinary subject, most of this labor is overlooked.
EL RECREO strives to give some recognition to the diverse talents and stories behind the people working in the food industry, with an art exhibition, screenings, collaborations and performances from the food industry professionals. This project extends beyond the Mexican community, and acknowledges the international exchanges that happens in the restaurants. Hospitality, food and physical presence are the main vehicles for interaction in EL RECREO, as the project aims to be a place in which different views can come together beyond the restaurant patron/server relation and the closed doors of the kitchen, to find a position of empathy and respect toward the labor in the restaurants.
Manuel Molina Martagon: EL RECREO is part of Recess’s signature program, Session, which invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist's project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.