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What is the relationship between the actual experience of food and agricultural science? Can cooking in a public space amount to art? What lends vitality to a mountain stream, and can we develop recipes to replicate that taste in the water in urban settings? From Thursday, visitors to the Capital’s Khoj Studios can expect to view, and participate in, installations designed around our interactions with food in the modern world.

At the exhibition, In Context:public.art.ecology: Food Edition II, visitors will be encouraged to touch and work at the installations. Austria-based artist Rainer Prohaska has done this before in the US and Europe, cajoling visitors to roll up their sleeves and pitch in in the kitchen. The menu for Day 1 of the exhibition: Vegan French Soup. Preparation time: around 20 minutes. If everything goes according to plan, he will have persuaded 9-16 people to chop carrots, onions and potatoes, among other ingredients, and cook them in a pot to make “delicious" French soup in a kitchen installation spread over five levels. The cooking stations will communicate with each other through a tube system. Prohaska’s installation is both a study in modular kitchen design and our interaction with space, and an emphasis on the process of creating good food as a community. “It is a kind of social sculpture," he says.

The “cooking performance" is scheduled only for the first day of the exhibiton. Visitors on later days can see the multilevel installation, though without the live performance.

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Both these influences—architecture and history—are distilled into her installation. “I wanted to create a model of food systems, the alienation between the actual experience of food and the (food) science," she explains.

If all this leaves you thirsty for more, head to Mia Morikawa and Andre Wakko’s installation on water. Try Morikawa’s water recipe, it’s purified water that has been treated with opal, smoky topaz, Himalayan rock salt and ginger, among other natural ingredients. Visitors can also make their own water recipes, picking the ingredients they’d like their water to be treated with in the installation.

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Lipika Bansal’s take on food is a look back to tradition, to home remedies that draw on the kitchen. Even as you make new food memories at the exhibition, Bansal urges you to share your food stories, to consume others’ food stories and recipes across media such as written and audio.

In Context:public.art.ecology: Food Edition-II by the Khoj International Artists’ Association will open at 6.30pm on 18 April. The exhibition will be on till 23 April, 11am-7pm, at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirki Extension, New Delhi.

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