“Courses” brings food and community together on Main Street

CS13 is an art and performance space, located at 1420 Main Street, that hosts concerts, monthly reading series, and bi-monthly art projects/exhibitions. These projects often engage with overlaps in art practice and everyday life. Over the 2 year run of the gallery, CS13 has become more than just a collective that curates and hosts, transforming into an art collective that also produces projects of our own, also under the name CS13.

Paralleling their ongoing interest in overlaps of art and the everyday, this June CS13 presents a month-long project that looks to the comforts, history and politics of the kitchen, emulating the format and layout of cooking lessons and TV shows as a vehicle for discussion driven presentations by local community members. This project will consist of a working kitchen built in the gallery that will double as a meeting space and lecture hall, from which a weekly series of talks and demonstrations will be programmed and led by local community members, merchants and non-profits. Focused on the social structures implicit in recipes, cooking traditions and food based services, COURSES hopes to provide a unique community space that will offer both free storytelling, educational programming and shared meals prepared on site.

“We constructed the the kitchen and programmed all the events, but the details of each dinner/discussion are left up to the guest cook/speaker,”CS13 collaborator Aaron Walker explains “[The forum] gives the speaker a platform to highlight personal topics of interest and to host informal, intimate cooking demonstrations and dinner conversation.”

The crew at CS13 hopes to break down the barriers that some may feel when dealing with art by presenting it through the familiar lens of food. Many different kinds of folks feel comfortable interacting with Cincinnati’s robust selection of dining establishments. But art spaces, for many, are conceptually distant. “COURSES” is a fun way to bring those worlds together and imagine a more integrated and accessible creative community. Meanwhile we hope to highlight the important community-oriented work that a variety of organizations have been doing and provide an outlet for learning and engaging with a these provoking, forward thinking trades/projects that many people might not be aware of.

This coming week’s “COURSES” events include:

Final Friday, June 24th from 5-8 PM: Ufuk Adak
UFUK ADAK is a University of Cincinnati PhD student from Izmir, Turkey, will lead an informal discussion about Turkish and Ottoman food cultures as he prepares a popular dish or two. Possible topics of conversation include the appropriating of Ottoman court cuisine by the masses and contemporary Turkish food culture.

Saturday, June 25th from 5-8 PM: Vicki Mansoor and Bill Brown
Mansoor is part of an evolving initiative, Homemeadow Song Farm, where participants are active in areas of land stewardship, gardening, nutrition, education, artistic processes and cultural renewal.

Vicki has invited Susan Gilbert, a gifted storyteller and artisan and Jose Navales of Pura Vita, a pop-up taqueria in Dayton KY, to support this program. They will lead a cooking demonstration centered around the history of corn in the U.S. Corn from Homeadow Song Farm will be ground and used to make tamales.

BILL BROWN: Bill Brown is both the author and the publisher of “Fenced Off, Obscured or Painted Over” (Colossal Books, Cincinnati: 2011), which is a collection of photographs of murals in community gardens in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (NYC) that Bill took in 1997 and 1998.

Established as long ago as 1972, and the survivors of Mayor Giuliani’s attempts in the 1990s to have them all bulldozed and sold off, these community gardens in NYC still bring people together who want to better their relations with their neighbors and the earth itself. Small-scale food production is the key to these gardens, which are oases in the middle of one of the least-green metropolises in the world.

For more information, check out CS13 on Facebook.
Courses + Cincinnati Cooks! picture provided.