Beyond the Grain

Mabe Bethonico

This is a research project on Salt in the field of visual arts, a multidisciplinary exploration aimed at unravelling the multifaceted implications of this mineral. What we primarily associate with taste today, has carried a multitude of uses and connotations throughout the ages: a means to preserve, a means to heal, a means of payment (‘salary’ and its French and German equivalents salarie and Salär). Salt has been used as metaphor for good and evil, as well as Earth’s prime matter, exploited and distributed, causing socio-economic reverberations.

So let us look at some of Salt’s abundant scientific properties, cultural connotations, literary representations and artistic interpretations. Our objective is to form a vibrant working group that together will reflect on the historical, social, and artistic dimensions, through reading, speaking, field trips, experimentation and object creation.

In collaboration with École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie - ENSP Arles. The Lab.Zone includes a trip to the Aigues-Mortes Salt Marshes in Camargue and the Alpine Salt mine in Bex.

Part of Ecological Emergencies
This Lab.Zone is held in French and in English, depending on the participants. Course credit is given based on attendance and participation.