What's your poison is a project by Chiara Camoni shaped by the participation of Davide La Montagna, Martine de Rijck & Guido Santandrea, Zoe Williams, as well as all the table companions who will bring their intoxicating contributions. The project is curated by Caterina Avataneo.
In the UK “What’s your poison?” is a traditional way of asking amicably what the drink of one's choice is, particularly when the drink in question is offered. The idea behind this saying is that alcohol, like other drugs, is a substance capable of altering the cognitive-reactive processes of the individual, creating a state of intoxication. The word "intoxication" indicates, in fact, the effects of poisonous substances or anything that, applied or ingested, modifies the nature of what it is spread upon. In nature, poison is strategy, both of attack and defence. Bright colours, bitter taste or pungent smell are scents of alarm, inviting the predator to avoid ingesting toxic substances through repulsion and disgust. On a symbolic level, poison represents the eternal presence of the negative; for similar reasons a person or situation that negatively affects human and non-human agents is defined as "toxic". On an etymological level, poison (“veleno” in Italian, which comes from vĕnus) is love, and consuming passion. Intoxication therefore symbolizes invasive and powerful transformation processes, generated by delicate gestures too, sometimes even unconscious. Traditionally in fairy tales and folk traditions the one - often a she - who is intoxicated or intoxicates, is the bearer of new ideas or of ancient but obscure knowledge, not yet assimilated on a collective level.
Chiara Camoni and Caterina Avataneo, together with Almanac, invite you for dinner, to tell and listen of ancient and modern poisons, love addictions, brutal transformations, and reflect on the bitterness of contemporary contradictions. In nature there is an antidote for every poison, but what happens when transformations become manipulations? When it’s ideologies - violent and sugary machinations - to poison? What's your poison
is a spontaneous occasion for collective sharing. Insect-tables, with monstrous dishes, purulent tablecloths and suspicious menus, are available for anyone who wants to book a dinner, as long as poisonous and intoxicating reflections are brought to the table (for further details and bookings please contact [email protected]
The show builds upon the pluralities of Camoni’s practice, in which objets trouvés and natural materials are collectively sourced from the available surroundings, assembled and transformed into works whose crafty and domestic dimension often becomes theatre for shared experience. The act of sharing takes different forms every time, experimenting with contamination and sorority authorship, re-discovering traditional processes and opening to new ways to envision the world and its myths. Such empathic outlook reveals a times tensions and non-harmonious relations, broadening notions of coexistence by shaking old presumption but also stereotypical ideas of togetherness.
A special thanks to the participants to the first two dinner: Franco Andreone, Angelica Bollettinari, Elena Casetta, Michele Cerruti But, Lucilla Barchetta, Simona Stano, Rain Wu, Federico Campagna, Andrea Galimberti, Giulia Colletti, Cleo Fariselli, Federico Chiari, Giuliana Rosso, Yuliya Say, Sibilla Galli, Divina Centore, Elisa Fanetti, Michele Forneris, Beatrice Gasca Queirazza, Sottobosco Libri.