zim & zou craft edible monsters for la rinascente window display in milan zim & zou craft edible monsters for la rinascente window display in milan
may 29, 2015

zim & zou craft edible monsters for la rinascente window display in milan

zim & zou craft edible monsters for la rinascente window display in milan
window photography by alberto ferrero / all images courtesy of zim & zou

 

 

 

a species of ‘edible monsters’ infills the display windows at la rinascente department store in milan, forming six dynamic, quirky and colorful scenes unfolding across piazza del duomo. despite their seemingly playful presentation, the installation aims to raise awareness about the excesses of the food industry, specifically the chemical ingredients used and how they affect the food we eat.

 

french duo lucie thomas and thibault zimmermann of zim & zou have created ‘edible monsters’ in tandem with expo milano 2015, adopting the theme ‘feeding the planet, energy for life’. made from 3-dimensional models and intricately cut, colorful paper pieces emblematic of their work, zim & zou illustrate carnivorous sunflowers, mutant fish, genetic manipulations and genetically modified corncob, which come to life to emphasize how the use of chemicals and aggressive farming methods can be harmful to our health.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
detail of ‘insecticide’, which sees a giant mutant sunflower devouring a bee

 

 

 

‘insecticide’ is illustrated by a field of pink-and-blue sunflowers. within the scene, a huge, mutant plant devours a bee — an insect crucial for its pollination and reproduction. the paper illustration aims to reflect a monstrous act of self-defense: pesticides make plants immune to the attacks of insects but also expose them to their extinction.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
‘medicines yes, but without overdoing it!’ at la rinascente in milan

 

 

‘medicines yes, but without overdoing it!’ comprises a paper fish with ten eyes and too many fins. pictured in the window display, the swimming sea creature feeds on extra-large pills that slowly sink to the bottom of a pond around him. this visual metaphor intends to show the harmful effects of excessive drug use, and that — rather than being beneficial to health — resistance to antibiotics can cause extreme malformations.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
the fish has ten eyes and too many fins

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
paper pills of various size, shape and color surround the fish as ‘swims’ in the window

 

 

 

within the ‘GMOs’ window, a colorful cornfield hosts a disproportionately over-sized corncob, which attemps to devour all the surrounding plants. this unnatural growth symbolizes the use of genetically modified organisms and emphasizes the serious health problems that can occur for people who consume them.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
the ‘GMOs’ window, where a colorful cornfield hosts an disproportionately over-sized corncob

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
the corncob’s unnatural growth symbolizes the use of genetically modified organisms

 

 

 

‘but what do we eat?’ shows a 3D printer printing a cupcake using ink labelled ‘edible’. the smiling cake slowly takes shapes as it is built up by the machine hanging above it, giving life to a strange character. this window raises the issue of its edibility, acting as an invitation to reflect upon the ways in which chemical ingredients and new technologies are being used in the food industry.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
the window ‘but what do we eat?’ illustrates a 3D printer ‘printing’ a cupcake using ink labelled ‘edible’

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
the strange character represents the usual effects of chemical ingredients in food

 

 

 

‘genetic manipulation’ is illustrated by a paper a lab made up of a complex arrangement of phials and test tubes. the various liquids that flow from one vessel to the next eventually deposit on the head of an animal with multiple ears. this victim of overzealous science aims to represent the lack of knowledge and control we have over genetic manipulation and the somewhat unnerving nature of this reality.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
a complex paper network of vials and test tubes brings liquid from vessel to vessel

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
the result of ‘genetic manipulation’, a rabbit with multiple ears

 

 

 

the installation ‘battery farming’ aims to make a personal connection between the lives of chickens and those of humans. a stack of square cages make up a battery farm, the residents of which are chickens with human-like features. some watch TV, others lift weight, yet they do not live an exhilarating life — they cannot tell the difference between night and day and cannot completely open their wings. their lifelike characteristics and human-like appearance aim to make the viewer question the quality of life for these beings.

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
‘battery farming’ aims to make a personalize the lives of chickens

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
chickens with human-like expressions aim to make the viewer question the life of the caged birds

zim zou edible monsters la rinascente milan
a TV made of paper, one of the props that make up the installation ‘battery farming’

 

 

 watch the video below for a behind-the-scenes look into the detailed making of ‘edible monsters’.

 

 


edible monsters: behind the scenes
video courtesy of  

 

 

  • but it all looks happy and playful and fun…I think that completely undermines the message. And a battery farm chicken would be lucky if it had that much room!

    eileen says:

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