Julius Metzger
Mon 14 August, 5—9 p.m.


The workshop is fully booked.

Fermentation is a directed transformation of food with the help of microorganisms. The technique is found in one form or another in every historical as well as contemporary culture. Fermentation is therefore, along with cooking with fire or heat, a universal part of human culture. When we make ferments together or share techniques and traditions of fermentation, we make a connection not only between us, but also to history, to stories, and to our living environment.

Fermenting gives agency because it gives us control over our food. It is a simple way to preserve foods, when they are abundant, for a long time. Fermentation also enhances them by making them more flavorful, digestible and healthy. Ironically, this gained control comes from relinquishing control. We create conditions in which certain microorganisms grow and thrive, but the bacteria and fungi do the rest themselves, and each ferment is different. (Giving up control to microorganisms is something very unsettling to many people. However, lactic fermented vegetables, for example, are one of the safest foods around). Navigating the tension between control, non-control, chance, and collaboration is a fundamental principle for artistic work in general.
Fermenting then becomes a repetitive performative exercise.

In the workshop we will try two simple fermentation methods: First, we will ferment vegetables using the lactic acid bacteria naturally found on all plants, and second, we will make water kefir.

Participants will receive the ingredients for a glass of water kefir and a glass of fermented vegetables to take home. Additional jars, preferably with flip tops, as well as vegetables, fruits and herbs are welcome to be brought along.

Julius Metzger is a visual artist and writer. He works with food and drink in the context of contemporary art. Important components of his performances and culinary interventions are narratives, humor, microorganisms, and the practice of foraging. In various collaborative constellations he has realized projects for the Kunstmuseen Krefeld, the Bonner Kunstverein, the Center for Literature Münster, and the Pina Bausch Zentrum Wuppertal, among others.


Julius Metzger, 2023