Henry Hargreaves, No Seconds Comfort Food and Photography

ArtMovie – ItalianaComunicazione production
in collaboration with the Province of Venice,
Irscesc Foundation and San Servolo Services

curated by Chiara Casarin

Venice, Island of San Servolo, Museum of Madness
7th September to 24th November 2013

Opens: Friday, September 6th , 2013, 6.00 pm (by invitation)


At the Museum of Madness of San Servolo, the first European solo exhibit by the New Zealand-born photographer famous for his work with food.

An unprecedented journey that begins with Deep Fried Gadgets, progresses through the meal requests of pop stars in the Band Rider series, and culminates with No Seconds, a reflection on food and imprisonment that examines the last suppers of American prisoners sentenced to death.

Running in tandem with the exhibition will be the video food contest The Last Wish. Hosted by the actor and chef Andy Luotto and Pietro Leemann, the chef of the soul.


Photography and comfort food, two very different forms of nourishment, mark significant moments in our lives; they support us and give us strength; they also provide a window into the deepest aspects of identity. Held at the Museum of Madness—which reinterprets the concept of imprisonment—this event combines both photography and food at the highest levels, and is open to fans of both. There will also be a video contest for visitors to tell of their personal culinary journey.

Henry Hargreaves, No Seconds – Comfort Food and Photography is the first-ever solo exhibit outside of the United States by Henry Hargreaves—a New Zealand-born photographer based in New York. It will be held in Venice from September 7th to November 24th , 2013 at the Museum of Madness on the Island of San Servolo. The exhibition, sponsored by ArtMovie and ItalianaComunicazione, is curated by Chiara Casarin, with support from the Province of Venice, San Servolo IRSESC Foundation- Institute for Research and Studies on Social and Cultural Marginalization and San Servolo Services.


ArtMovie and ItalianaComunicazione – Venetian companies focusing on the organization and promotion of cultural events that combine art with culinary excellence. Previously The Last Supper – No Seconds, was shown during “Treviso: Dripping Taste” in October, 2012. This time Henry Hargreaves, No Seconds – Comfort Food and Photography, will be shown at the Museum of Madness on the island of San Servolo, in Venice, a place of great evocative power and in an international atmosphere, with the aim of developing in the short-term important partnerships in Europe. ArtMovie format includes a number of special events that link exceptional culinary experiences and moments of reflection on art, food and spirituality with prestigious guests.

Under the supervision of the food designer Rosita Dorigo, noted Italian chefs will expand on the topics in the exhibition by offering select audience members tastes of their concept food. The chefs Andy Luotto and Pietro Leemann, chosen for their anthropological and spiritual connection to food, will host this project.


Henry Hargreaves, a former model, is known for his investigations into the relationship between photography and food: his shots of fried iPhones and iPads, and images of flaming doughnuts and rainbow-colored burgers, have already earned him no small amount of fame on the Web. The curator Chiara Casarin will put his works into new and charming relationships, playing off the location to lead visitors into an exhibition that is also a “descent into the hell” of the soul. The key element is the concept of comfort food—food that is meant to provide not just nourishment but spiritual solace, strength, consolation—fulfilling our most hidden and elemental needs.

The San Servolo exhibition will open on the ground floor of of the Museum, with Band Riders, in which Hargreaves who worked with stylist Caitlin Levin on this series have reproduced the eccentric food choices that pop stars (Mariah Carey, Frank Sinatra, Van Halen, Beyoncé…) request in their dressing room before going on stage. On the first floor will be a selection of photos from No Seconds, in which Hargreaves has reproduced and captured, with startling immediacy and intimacy, the last suppers of death row inmates in the U.S. prisons.


Through the ages, art has been compared with the theme of food,” says curator Chiara Casarin – “and Hargreaves’ work fits into this tradition. The intent, in particular with No Seconds but also for the other series, is to create a realistically accurate still life, in which the use of the direct light and the vertical perspective on the subject operate with the objectivity of the microscope and the scalpel. What’s the link between those sentenced to death, pop stars on stage and the mentally ill? Can a dish play a meaningful role? Comfort can be given by a meal, a food that reminds us of the serenity of childhood, that gratifies an intimate desire. Comfort is also care, relief, a feeling of well-being. At the center of this reflection is the difference between the permanence of the photographic document and the ephemeral essence of what it represents.”


Henry Hargreaves, No Seconds – Comfort Food and Photography also offers the public an opportunity to participate in a movie contest called The Last Wish. Participants will have to dig through their memories to find and present their “last wish” dish. A committee will help to select the three video artists who interpret the theme best. Winners will participate in the events taking place in San Servolo where, the public will have the opportunity to taste their “dishes of the soul,” with the assistance of a team of professional chefs.



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