Antonio Kutleša Meat Flower

Installation, 2020

This project explores alternative ways for plant cultivation to provide a solution for the natural modification of their taste and texture. Started three years ago, the project stemmed from the simple fact that the artist, like many others, cannot stand the taste of fruit and vegetables. After a series of experiments with the possibilities for the manipulation of natural processes of growth of tomatoes, a new product is now available: Meat Flower.

Meat Flower was created by the controlled cultivation of tomatoes (Romello cultivar produced by Kiepenkerl and Cherry Tomato cultivar from Royal Seeds). During its growth, the plant through its root system draws up the nutrients necessary for the successful growth of the tomato fruit. At the right moment, the plant is moved from the earth to an irrigation system that exposes it to nutrients and enables the input of alien components. The artificially produced liquid system is added gradually, the amount being increased with the growth of the plant. In time the fruit has absorbed the new substances – the tomato has taken on the flavour of roast chicken. The artificial flavour comes in all variations: fried, roasted, boiled, chicken, shrimp and octopus. The new tomato however has not yet been completely transformed. Although the taste is changed, the tomato still looks and feels the same. The visual characteristics and texture of food are closely linked with our experience of flavour, and hence Meat Flower, with the aid of 3D printing technology has taken on a new form. The printed moulds are modelled in such a way as to replicate the original experience of the artificial flavour.

The transformation is complete, and Meat Flower, a tomato untouched by GMO, is ready to eat. This fruit-vegetable-meat hybrid is a natural solution that everyone can reproduce in their own home. Bon appetit!

Production: KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art praxis

Antonio Kutleša

Antonio Kutleša was born in Zagreb, where, in 2008, he enrolled in the undergraduate course in visual culture. He graduated summa cum laude from the Academy of Fine Arts for successful work during the academic year 2014/2015. In the same year he enrolled in the post-graduate course of visual culture, the chief artistic subject being graphic art and applied graphic art, taught by Ines Krasić. In September 2018 he graduated with an award from the academic council of the Academy of Fine Arts for the most successful graduating students; acquiring the degree of master of education in visual culture in 2018, in collaboration with Jurica Mlinarec, a student of art history from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, he won the first edition of the A4 Competition. He is employed as teacher of drawing and painting in the School for Applied Art and Design and also works part time at the Academy of Fine Arts.