Nyamnyam is a space and collective created in 2012 by artists Iñaki Alvarez i Ariadna Rodríguez. Joining their formations and deformations in various disciplines, their work aims to promote creation, diffraction, knowledge exchange and culture through sharing strategies. They use artistic dynamics and tools to propose interventions that are placed in each g-local context in which they work. The objective is to activate each context’s fabric in a holistic sense, incorporating the organisms (human scale and others), systems, environment, relationships... They have carried out and shared their projects in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Greece, USA, Colombia and Ecuador.
In this crossroad of live arts, critical thought, pedagogy and social interaction, nyamnyam’s work moves between the creation projects (as an artist collective) and the role of hosting and collaborating with other people, collectives or institutions. In this hosting line, with the project Todo lo que me gusta es ilegal, inmoral o engorda (Everything that I like is illegal, immoral or fattening), they have invited to work with them more than fifteen artists or collectives, to develop together and present works in progress, in their space in Barcelona as well as outside it, during four years. This project contained the artist’s interventions, transgeneracional workshops designed by nyamnyam based on each artist’s work, and a series of publications of each edition, made in collaboration with Rubén Ramos Nogueira (2014) and Anna Dot (2015). This project was awarded with an APPLAUSE Award ‘16 al FAD (Fostering Arts and Design) Sebastià Gasch Award for Paratheatrical Arts.
n this same line during 2020, nyamnyam is curating ‘Estar sin estar’ (To be without being) with the artists Rosanayaris, Fernando Gandasegui and Gauthier Chambry. A series of exhibitions at La Capella de Sant Roc de Valls in Valls (Catalonia), that wants to understand this chapel (which is an exhibition space for contemporary art) as a collective infrastructure. A place to release the - body - weight, appearing what’s alive - visible or invisible - in human form, bacteria or others, interacting with the local context. This project wants to rehearse the role of ‘curators’ from companionship, which has to do with time dilation and sharing. In this way we move away from the standardized sample formats of processes and, above all, results, approaching the daily action of being together as a mode of action and creation.
Their work as hosts or activators is not "limited" to artists; they have actively worked with food producers committed to their ecosystems, creating a series of fanzines, which are an excuse to establish a collaboration. The result is the creation of a prototype product, based on the raw material of the producer, but with a nyamnyam approach. In each fanzine, they have collaborated with a photographer (Jaume Parera, Ilaria Mauro, Nani Pujol) or illustrator (Txelo) and with someone who has generated a text from their imaginary, related to the subject matter of each edition (Rubén Ramos Nogueira, Ramón Andrés, Roberto Fratini, Anna Álvarez, El Conde de Torrefiel).
Within this line of collaboration, nyamnyam has developed and designed several projects with organizations and/or institutions such as MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona), Fundació Tàpies, Fundació Miró, Fireplace project, Caixaforum, Centre d’Art La Panera, BAR Project, Festival Plaga, UNZIP el Prat, Festival GREC, Antic Teatre, Festival Loop, El Graner, Mercat de les Flors, Festival Salmon, Museo Picasso, Can Felipa, Can Serrat, Okay Confiance (Marseille, France), La Ferme du Buisson (Paris, France), Madison Contemporary Art Museum (Madison, USA), Minkalab (Santa Rosa de Cabal, Colombia), Tierra Magia (Cali, Colombia), Upayakuwasi (Cayambe, Ecuador).
As an artistic collective, nyamnyam has produced several projects that navigate between the visual and the live arts. Part of this work was established as a scenic piece named COMIDA. It was activated through books or texts as narrative material, which in the hands of the attendees, create the action in a transversal way. The piece had the audience on stage, without delimiting the space to see and be seen. The audience was interacting trough, reading, cooking and eating, activating themes on food sovereignty, philosophy, art, post-development, community, education, etc. This project was articulated from the site-specific and has been presented in very varied contexts. It was born in the summer of 2016 in Madison USA, in a residence inside the Bubbler Room of the Public Library (in collaboration with Spatula&Barcode). In autumn '16, was hosted at Teatro Pradillo in Madrid, where it was activated from the titles of the pieces that had been presented there in the last three years. At the beginning of 2017, was in residence and presentation in the Centre Cívic el Sortidor, within the project "A TAULA!, cicle de cultura i gastronomia" and in March '17, it was activated in the reproduction of the BAR de EL INTERNACIONAL/ in side the exhivision Miralda made in USA, at MACBA, Bcn. In summer of '17 it was presented inside the Municipal Market of Arenys de Mar, part of the Festival Poesia i+. In 2018 it was presented at the Festival Les Urbaines (Lausanne, Switzerland).
Using some of the strategies learned through COMIDA, nyamnyam has created the piece 8,000 years later, a performative installation that arises from an interest in investigating the beginning of agriculture as a turning point that defined the course of humanity. Making science fiction of prehistory, speculating and questioning some linear and little situated reconstructions of what happened 8,000 years ago, this piece has been presented in Blackbox teater (Oslo) in the context of Radical Hospitality; Lugar a dudas (Cali, Colombia) in residence and exhibition of the process; in Casa Aymat (Sant Cugat, Bcn) in residence; in the MIR Festival ‘18 (Athens), and as part of the program SALIVA at Centrocentro (Madrid). In September ‘19 it has been performed at the Short Theater Festival (Rome) and at Festival TNT (Terrassa, Bcn). It’s been supported by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), through the Programme for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE), and Ramón Llull Institute (Catalonia).
Another example of their work, inside the field of relational installation, is A cuatro patas - all fours, a temporary public device, that creates a social environment in which people come together to participate in a shared activity. The starting point is to design it with the community (depending on its use) and build up the table made with local materials, thinking about it not only as a procedure, but as an opportunity to start creating ties between the community we work with, and the “body” of the work. This project was first activated in Barcelona collaborating with TMDC, and in 2016 in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, WI, USA, part of the Triennial of Contemporary Art of the city. A cuatro patas, has been activated again in the city of Valencia (Spain) between January and March 2019, within the framework of Transversal Aesthetics - Leisure Ecosystems, organized by IDENSITAT and the Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valencia. This project was reactivated in April '19, in a creative residence and performance, at the Duncan Dance Research Center in Athens, in the context of ZOOM IN!, sensing the world through the minor, organized in collaboration with the EDN (European Dancehouse Network). This project has also had the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), through its program for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE).
Other projects are framed inside the Visual Arts scope, including an exhibition from the publications that nyamnyam has produced (La Panera Arts center - Lleida) or the project It is the microorganisms that will have the last word, a project about biological and social fermentation, that had been selected as one of the two delocated projects at the open call from BcnProducció (Visual Arts) at ICUB (Institute of Culture of Barcelona) in 2017.
Another framework developed by the collective in the last three years is Air-Condition, a project that aims to make air explicit, to create situations and atmospheres where air can also be protagonist and performer. This project is mutant in its members and its form, began with Carme Torrent and Iñaki Alvarez and has collaborated with Ariadna Rodriguez, Carolina Lapa, Gil Ramos, Martí Sales and Sarai Cumplido, in their various activations in various residences of creation and presentations in the Teatro de Campo Alegre in Oporto, The SALMON '15 festival (Graner and Mercat de les Flors, Bcn), the International Dance Window, the MACBA es viu, the Picnic Session of the CA2M of Madrid, the festival Circular de Vila do Conde (Portugal) and the MNAC (Museo Nacional de Arte de Catalunya).
Within this framework, they worked about Air Pur, a film by René Clair that was left unfinished in 1939 because of the war. The research focuses on the creation of video material that constructs new narratives in relation to the "unravelled" themes of the original film. Thus, the work explores themes such as territory or landscape, education outdoors, memory and its relationship with cinema. It is being developed in several contexts in Spain and Colombia and has a broad perspective of community work, co-creating materials in the format of workshops and laboratories in different locations. This project has received the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya, presented its research process at the Salmon Festival '17 (Barcelona) in installation and video format with parallel activities, and it has been presented as a full exhibition and parallel program of activities, called ‘Canvi d’Aires’ (‘change of air’, meaning ‘change of scene’ in english) at Casa Elizalde in Barcelona in December '19, result of the 6th Visual Arts Prize awarded to nyamnyam for this project.
Another branch of nyamnyam’s work is centered in social interaction with a transdisciplinary perspective. Inside this container, they have developed several projects in collaboration with organizations such as the Food Re-utilization Platform, (PAA), designing workshops for families to raise awareness about food waste through artistic practices; or RedDay Barcelona, an event to make possible to donate blood in a family setting, so children would cook and prepare healthy snacks - specially designed to eat after you donate blood - while their parents were doing it (children can’t access, so parents need to find a place for their children if they want to donate blood). Another example would be the Food Revolution Day Barcelona, that nyamnyam organized in collaboration with other partners, with the objective to promote ecological and proximity food in schools and in families, as part of the #FoodRevolutionDay in which 196 countries held a similar event to raise awareness and collect signatures worldwide for the G20 to take into account the problem of child malnutrition. Nyamnyam has also produced and developed a series of workshops for adults called Cooking is a political act, with the objective of sharing tools to facilitate a better way of nurturing ourselves taking into consideration how we do politics from the plate we eat every day, cooking together and sharing recipes and texts related to food sovereignty and food systems.
In the pedagogy field, they work inside and outside the institution, where they have tutored and/or accompanied artists' projects, and collectives during processes of creation and formalization. They also work in different contexts of formal and non-formal education, giving lectures, classes, workshops and laboratories. This has happened at the Deià School of Art and Design in Barcelona; the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona; the European Institute of Design, Barcelona and Florence; the UPF Barcelona School of Management, Barcelona; the Department of Art at the University of Wisconsin, USA; the Fine Arts University of Cali, Colombia; the Universidad Sin Fronteras of Pereira, Colombia; the Museum of Modern Art of Medellín in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the Universidad del ITM, Colombia; the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies of Development, in the Economics Department of the Universidad del Cauca, Colombia; La Huerta es todo in Quito, Ecuador; Quindío University in Armenia, Colombia; the Festival Danza en la Ciudad in Bogotá, Colombia; the Master’s program PERMEA - Experimental program of mediation and education through Art in Valencia, Spain.
They also collaborate often with media and press, where they had a section on a radio program at the Catalan National Radio (Cabaret Electric) as well as writing at the newspaper BcnMes monthly. They also had been invited to write the opening article at Catalan National Radio (Cabaret Electric) as well as writing at the newspaper FUET Magazine on their issue about Politics related to Food, writing an article called Self–sufficiency as a revolutionary act.
During 2019 nyamnyam has been nominated for the Muncunill Awards for Innovation (Terrassa), in the Culture’s category, and recently for the ACCA (Catalan Association of Art Critics) 2019 Awards in the Artistic Project category. This same year, they received a special mention in the open call for residence of associated artists in El Graner, a center for the creation of dance and live arts; as a result and within the 'Plà de Barris' of Barcelona City Council, they have started a two-year research project, attached to this creation factory and in relation to the Marina Neighbourhood where it is located. On the other hand, this school year '19 -'20, the nyamnyam collective has been selected by the educational department at MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona), to carry out the program 'creadors en residència' in a high school of the City of Barcelona.
In 2020, nyamnyam has started to activate ‘Mas nyamnyam’, their new space of action and thought. Is placed in Mieres at 130 km from Barcelona; a small village in the countryside of Catalonia with a strong sense and work on self municipality policies. In this location, they will host interventions, workshops, performances and gatherings that promote transdisciplinary work with the aim to interact with the local context, to promote situated artistic practices that modulate depending on where, how, when, with whom are produced.
· A-Desk: Nyamnyam: Taking the everday beyound the home. Anna Dot · A-Desk: Nyamnyam: Sacando la cotidianidad fuera de casa. Anna Dot · Mirus magazine: “Todo lo que me gusta es ilegal, inmoral o engorda” · El estado mental: Arte en el salón de casa. Nyamnyam. Marc Caellas · Ets el que menges. Marta Costa · Soy como como. Marta Costa · El País: “La vanguardia se recoge en la cocina”. Pablo Caruana · El Cultural: “Aire fresco para los nuevos espacios” · Time out “Happenings gastronómics” · El Comidista: “Dónde enseñar a los niños a cocinar y a comer bien” · Revista diners: “Sónar, un festival inabarcable” · Miniguide Barcelona · Le Cool: “Todo lo que me gusta es ilegal, inmoral o engorda” · A-Desk: “La coreografia del hábito” · Flic magazine : “Poblenou, the cracle of new artists” (pàg. 25)
· Teatro Pradillo: El estado anal, de Óscar Cornago. · Mambo: La manía de comerse a uno mismo. La Mandanga · Teatron: Notas que patinan. Rubén Ramos Nogueira. Notas 39/ Notas 40/ Notas 41/ Notas 43/ Notas 45/ Notas 46/ Notas 47/ Notas 49/ · Ping-pong con Cris Blanco” · Poblenou urban district: “Intervenciones en nyamnyam” · Mamma proof: “Associación Cultural nyamnyam”