The concept of Autarky is a continuation of Formafantasma’s previous project entitled “baked,” and inspired by the folk event of the “cene di San Giuseppe” in Sicily. The installation suggests a self-sufficient way of producing goods and “outlines a hypothetical scenario where a community is embracing a serene and self inflicted embargo where nature is personally cultivated, harvested and processed, to feed and make tools to serve human necessities.”
This hypothetical scenario as well as the material in itself (flour) suggests the autarchy. The flour used for the construction of the installation is the main material which acts autonomous and symbolizes autarchy. Flour is a staple product for many civilizations making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history. Therefore, as an ingredient/material the way flour has been perceived throughout history is as if it is in self rule // autarchy.
According to Studio Formafantasma Autarky is a tribute to the simple, the straightforward, the everyday, the basic as is the necessity of the staple product. The collection of functional and resilient vessels, lamps as well as the other products have been dehydrated by natural means or baked at low temperature which ensures their durability. The composition of the collection is 70% flour, 20% agricultural waste, and 10% natural limestone, while color has been obtained through natural means of vegetables, spices and roots.
To set the scene for a total pilgrim look Studio Formafantasma invited Italian broom maker Giuseppe Brunello and the renowned French bakery Poilane, to join in the development of the installation. The setting took us back to images we’ve seen only in our history books, scenes which are unknown, yet very nostalgic. “The cereal Sorgho worked as a link between these crafts – in a perfect production process without waste, the cereal is harvested and used to create tools, vessels and foods.” Furthermore, the installation shared the knowledge as well as the know-how in the production process, as it suggested an alternative way of producing goods through this knowledge of the past through sustainable means.