Paul Ramírez Jonas’ ‘Eternal Flame’ is a monument in the form of a communal grill and imagines cooking culture as both a symbolic and real eternal flame – there is always a lit cooking fire somewhere on this globe. The work honors the role of cuisine and cooking in cultural cohesion and expression among communities and identities, even when individuals and families relocate locally, nationally or internationally.
‘Eternal Flame’ is designed to recognize the importance of dialogue and exchange. During this new time of social distancing the grill will not be available for public use, but instead bring people together philosophically and culturally through the common experience of cooking and eating. With this in mind, a series of videos will be released with local and distant chefs invited by the artist to address the meaning of the eternal flame while preparing recipes and relating stories on each dish’s significance. Ramírez Jonas imagines cooking culture as a symbolic eternal flame, enduring in communities for generations, over vast distances.
Paul Ramírez Jonas, Sketch of ‘Eternal Flame,’ 2020.
Jonathan Keats wrote in Forbes that Paul Ramírez Jonas’ ‘Eternal Flame’ sets an example for what future monuments should seek to achieve.
In fact, abstraction seems the most viable way in which to make monuments mutable, such that their meaning can evolve with society. Even the idea of monumentalizing people ought to be questioned. The multi-millennium history of monuments symbolizing principles such as justice might meaningfully be revived and revitalized in a visual or conceptual language that eschews old-fashioned sexist and racist imagery. A premonition of what this might include can be seen at Socrates Sculpture Park, where Paul Ramírez Jonas has installed a monument in the form of a grill. Called Eternal Flame, his monument is intended to foster cultural cohesion through communal preparation and consumption of meals.
Read the full article in Forbes–>
Film produced in association with Galeria Nara Roesler.