Packaging Peanuts Exchange


what allows for this package to be art?

where is this paper cone an art object?

is the back and forth of the peanut vendors a performance?

These are the three phrases printed on the pieces of paper used by Beto and Ismael to make the paper cone that holds the best-known delicacy of Rio de Janeiro’s street commerce: the peanut.

Hired as artists, the role of Beto and Ismael was to offer these “gold seeds”, which provide them with both their livelihood and their leisure, to the visiting public of Casa Daros. To that end, there was only one condition in such exchange: one could only eat the delicacy if he/she was willing to learn, with them, how to make his/her own packaging – the most complex and time-consuming task in the selling of peanuts.

Does the cone, displaced from its usual context, becomes art? Is the work involved in its fabrication a poetic gesture? Is the knowledge involved in its making, which is passed on from father to son, from generation to generation, a learning process?

“Packaging Peanuts Exchange” is a performance that aims to widen the boundaries between art and life by turning the action of making these peanut cones into a poetic process. Taken away from its original context of street commerce, from a monetary exchange toward an exchange of knowledges, the presence of the peanut vendors creates, in the space of the museum, a device that shares knowledges, affections, and horizontalities.

Special thanks to Ismael and Beto, Instituto Mesa and Jessica Gogan.

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