Mikel Otxoteko selected for Frank Bidart Chair 2024 creative project

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


Basque artist, educator and researcher Mikel Otxoteko has been chosen for the 2024 edition of the Frank Bidart Chair for his creative project ´Janari hura´.

The Frank Bidart Chair was created in 2022 through a collaboration between the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Institute for Basque Studies at California State University Bakersfield (CSUB). The aim is to promote research projects related to culture and art or to promote the development of creative projects. Otxoteko will carry out a month-long research and creation residency in Bakersfield.

‘Janari hura´ is an audiovisual piece on the influence of Basque gastronomy in Kern County, California, USA. The project will consist of a series of videos based on artistic, gastronomic and anthropological research. This series of videos, when combined and in conversation with other graphics, will create a cohesive and thought-provoking entirety. The complete work will be presented to the public in an art exhibition.

Kern is said to have the highest concentration of Basque restaurants in the United States. This creative project will work to highlight the historical relationship and fusion between the Basque people and Kern County.

Otxoteko will employ various methods to conduct his research. One will be to conduct workshops with CSUB students so that each can contribute their experience and knowledge based on their area of study (anthropology, history, geography, philosophy...). Otxoteko will also work closely with Monica Ocaso, a specialist in gastronomy and recipes and keen observer of the influence of Basque culture in North America and the Caribbean. He will also work with Marta Arzak, a researcher and expert curator in Basque gastronomy.

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