The city of Naples is going through a notorious process: after a period of economic and social abandonment, bad news and criminal domination, it’s reappearing on the surface. Tourism nourishes great hopes and a bright future, but bears dangers in the form of gentrification.
Video, 6hrs of cooking
Naples should be thankful to world politics. Or not. In the last 4 years, ever since Europeans´ favorite travel destinations like Egypt, Turkey or Tunisia have become less attractive due to political instability, tourists have been looking for safer places to explore. Naples, one of the few European cities that has the "outside-Europe" feeling to it (Napolitans themselves sometimes sarcastically refer to it as the "Capital of Tunisia") was soon discovered as a new market - still strangely exotic, but close by and cheap. In some way surprised by the sudden fame, but also feeling it deserves it after decennies under its own kind of occupation by the local mafia "camorra" - the city fully embraces the new arriving masses of tourists. And sells what the newcomers ask for: pizza, pastry and the magic appeal of mafia life. Many narratives and clichés interact in this video: The American presence in Naples since WW2, the camorra and tourism. Having been battleground often enough, Naples, maybe in order to keep her true self hidden and safe, throws anything it can produce at tourists, in a magnificent bombardment of sfogliatella and babà.
The original installation was accompanied by a stove on the floor, with a pot of ragu, Naples famous stew, cooking for 6 hours. This stew has a very simple as a recipe but is known to need at least 6hrs of cooking. It is therefore a product immune to fast consumption. Visitors were invited to taste the stew with bread, eating it with their hands, as it is done traditionally.