• Issue
  • Sep 01, 2022

Elia Nurvista: Recipes for Reorientation

Portrait of ELIA NURVISTA. Photo by Nonzuzo Gxekwa. All images courtesy the artist.

When we eat, we often ingest our conversations as our bodies do our meal, digesting simultaneously both flavors and ideas, aromas and speculations, textures and debates. Yogyakarta-born artist Elia Nurvista recognizes this. Her decade-long, community-based practice is lined with photographic documentation of people gathered around vibrant spreads of rice, curries, sautéed vegetables, grilled meats, and fresh fruits presented generously in bowls, on plates, or banana leaves. Other records show people cooking, with woks, teak leaves, and shallow bamboo baskets, in kitchens across Indonesia and elsewhere. In these gastronomic happenings, Nurvista fleshes out the question: what can the materials and processes we use to nourish ourselves say about our histories, our politics, and our societies?

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