One day I was talking with the maître of a grand hotel about the secrets of modern cuisine. A little amused, he told me that new generation chefs have become out-and-out marketing wizards, entrepreneurs and promoters of themselves, thus busying themselves less and less “with pots and pans”. The size of plates, the shape of glasses and the colours have changed – what remains unchanged is the taste. We have been eating fried eggs for 7.000 years and in 7.000 years – provided that we’ll manage to preserve our habitat – our offsprings will still be eating this simple dish. Why? Because taste is basic and we are all equipped with a given apparatus to taste and try. Our tongue can only recognize five flavours through the taste buds, it is the combination with the olfactory system that makes them richer, while our eyes endow them with fantasy and mystery. The basics are limited.
Maybe you can say the same about contemporary art. The shape has changed, and so has the way artists approach the observer. There’s an ongoing search for new and sophisticated visual techniques, but our feelings, the movements of our souls, our passions and relationships with other human beings have stayed the same for thousands years.
So what does the future hold for cooks, artists, philosophers and scientists?
To begin with, I think we should stop to think for a while and be humble enough to consider that almost 10.000 years of civilization have passed before us. Maybe the time has come to do an exercise of vitality, to look with new eyes at this world, its vices, its faults, at the essential nourishment for happiness: beauty, love and purity. But also at what has always made us miserable: war, poverty, manipulation, egoism and lack of sympathy.
We should also think about those who will come after us: what legacy do we want to leave behind and what do we want to spare them?
In doing so, we can walk a new path, a path with clear-cut margins, similar to a house with a door, windows and a roof.
In the past scientists, philosophers, artists, political and spiritual leaders saw the world through children eyes. They could see what has and always will be there and once having seen it, they talked, wrote about it and represented it according to their times. I think the main difficulty doesn’t lie in making something new (which seems to be impossible), but rather in understanding life, in fearlessly diving into it until we reach that undercurrent we all share and which is necessary for everyone and everything. Until we reach the essence and stop dwelling on the shape. And than talk, share, plan…
Text by José Molina