Archives for posts with tag: art

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Love this project, love the humour and creativity so many people are bringing to their activism and solidarity. And so important to help each other stay upbeat with a chuckle here, a naughty giggle there…

Emily Contois

Our current political moment has incited numerous protests and with them a new cohort of protest posters, including ones that engage food as resistance in ways literal and metaphorical, scathing and humorous. Megan Elias has begun a public history project to archive these political ephemera—Dishing it Out: Food-Themed Protest PostersMegan is a historian who writes about food in the US. Her new book, Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture (Penn Press) will be out in June 2017. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about Dishing It Out:


Emily: What inspired you to start gathering these images of food-themed protest posters?

Megan: I noticed the shawarma poster at a protest that I went to in NYC and then a friend in Boston posted a picture of a sign about coffee. The connection jumped out at me because I’m always thinking about food’s roles outside the kitchen. I thought that…

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I’ve just come across the fascinating art practice of Amanda Couch who works in animal innards, pastry, divination and performance. At the recent Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking she enacted “a divination ritual based on ancient Mesopotamian and Greek extispicy methods” enquiring “Will the UK would invoke article 50?” The answer was no!
I am so looking forward to learning more about her work, thus sharing one post here from her blog as a link for all of us to much more.

Amanda Couch

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This year I have been making pastry interpretations of ancient divination models using shortbread biscuit dough, and rough, puff and hot water crust pastry, for the lids of pies with various fillings.

Whilst visiting the Vorderasiatische Museum in Berlin in February, I came across a clay tablet from Babylon from the 12th-11th century BC, with multiple representations of extispicy models. In order to understand these images, I have  been incising the forms onto the lids of the small pies. The original tablet contains 14 diagrams, some whole, some fragmentary,  which represent the various configurations of the entrails of sacrificial sheep, and what they might mean to diviners.[1]

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Examples of these models were also incised into the lids of the Andouilette pies, which were served as part of the ‘Intestines’ course of my recent Reflection on Digestion performance dinner at LIBRARY London. In the chapter, I was connecting the intestines to…

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Stephanie Sarley is a contemporary American artist who makes these brave Fruit Art Videos.  I think they are challenging and fun to watch, as well as having the effect of making people laugh– should you want or need that pleasure.

Very sad to hear that the death of Chantal Akerman is reported as suicide.

I’m posting some of the cooking scenes in Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles a film rhythmically punctuated by cooking as an extraordinary ordinary ritual. Maybe it’s the great cooking film actually, in how much is revealed of character through the enactment of labour, chore and responsibility and the social/personal weight of culture.

Read about Chantal Ackerman films here.  I hope (probably not possible) to see this London exhibition of her art and video work 30 October – 6 December, 2015.

potato surprise   thomas' trucks

I have a Celebrity Crush.  Well… maybe she’s not really a celebrity, but Sophie Herxheimer is a London artist who works with people, stories and food.  She’s an incredibly creative artist and poet, and I get that tingle of excitement and possibility when I see or read her work.  It seems like her talents, interests, politics, and spirit are united and energised in a way I aspire mine to be.  She works with topics beyond food— but I wanted to share with Kitchen Counter Culture readers some of the work that might interest us the most.

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Oh my, just learned there’s an exhibition in London of the work of this painter, Renato Guttuso, through the 4th of April.  And who knew he illustrated Elizabeth David’s Italian Food?  This is a very fascinating look into the history and politics of that particular aesthetic matching.

In the comments 0f the original post, the brilliant Sicilian GodMother has really shared a lot of knowledge about the market painting, The Vucciria, more than I could have hoped for!  I quote her here:

“The original – which is absolutely huge – hangs in Palazzo Steri in Palermo now. A professor at Palermo University had it hidden away in his room for decades, imagine that!
The man in the yellow jumper is Renato Guttuso (the artist) himself, and the old woman in black is his wife: in the picture he showed her as much older than she really was. The three women in white, red and green dresses are all his mistress, shown from three different angles, and portrayed as much younger than she actually was. In reality she was the same age as his wife.
Guttuso lived most if his life in Rome and missed a lot of the foods you can only get in Sicily, so he had a phase of painting food along with women, his two great sensual pleasures.
This market was founded by the North African invaders of Sicily over 1,000 years ago and flourished like a chaotic souk for ten centuries. Sicilians say “it was a vucciria” the way we in English say “It was bedlam” or “It was a madhouse”.
Very recently the Vucciria has become lacklustre and quite empty, but there are other street markets in Palermo, as old as the Vucciria, which are still like this.”

Kitchen Counter Culture

A Painting, A Market, An Enticement

I’ve been a collage maker for most of my life,  have boxes and boxes of assorted materials, things I’ve collected, torn from magazines, etc. I have no idea where this is from, but I ripped it out long ago and kept it. And I love it.

I love the scene, the seafood, the eggs, the vegetables (are those cardoons in the front right?), the olives, the people, the bare light bulbs, and especially the loaded moment of the encounter that is just about to happen between the man in the yellow shirt and the woman with the bags and the nice bum.

In its day, I’d guess this would have been thought of as a market, not a farmers market or a specialist market or even, probably, an alternative to a supermarket.  It just WAS.   WHERE people bought their food.  Something to re-envision.

Wish I were there.

Where do…

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Corn as “Bio-Artifact.”  Corn through which to understand the relationship between humans and a biological seed, through the dynamics of history.  Corn as a lens to view the tension between Food as a Commons and Food as Commodity.  Corn as a brilliant idea for an art exhibition.  Beam me to Oaxaca, Scotty!

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Yesterday I read something MARVELOUS in the on-line magazine Soiled and Seeded — a piece by a Canadian artist Nicole Dextras about how her work reflects growth and decay, seasonality, our relationship to nature–in a context of incredible plant knowledge, craftsmanship, beauty and art-historical reference to amazing garments and mobile living structures (ie types of tents, as in yurts and teepees).  She makes these dresses from plants, leaves, foods, and flowers on armatures also woven from botanical materials.  Actors in the dresses interact with passers-by in various settings, teaching, chatting, explaining, and the dresses are breathtaking in their prime yet equally stunning and stimulating in their decay.

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I had to be in London, and felt grateful, with my interest in food politics and a lapsed personal art practice, to catch the last day of The Politics of Food at the gallery of the Delfina Foundation near Victoria. Many thanks to Edible Geography for alerting me to this exhibition.

There are many artists who engage with food as a medium and a topic, with the rituals of feasting and fasting, with describing our relationship individually, socially, and culturally to it all.  But I haven’t actually seen much of this work.  I have made pieces that played with issues of domesticity, corporate dominance and food, and I’ve imagined a great theoretical project about nostalgia and ethnicity that I would like to realise someday.  I also have some inchoate but active ideas about climate change and onions that I will try to give time to.  Beyond this, I was just really curious how an art show with the theme “Food Politics” would be conceptualised and curated to represent the diverse approaches of individual artists.

There were amazing pieces here, and they deserve a wider audience. The best review I could find describes the exhibition pretty well, even if in slightly opaque art-crit speak.  I’m compelled to write about the exhibition myself, from the point of view of an artist seeking to understand why some art is both moving and pedagogical (ie, teaches and helps the viewer to think/think through an issue) without being overbearing or ideological or desiring a specific reaction or response.  However, I wouldn’t necessarily be against a piece that sought to campaign– I’m open.

(The quotations in green are from the page that is offered to visitors upon entering the gallery space.) Read the rest of this entry »

A Painting, A Market, An Enticement

I’ve been a collage maker for most of my life,  have boxes and boxes of assorted materials, things I’ve collected, torn from magazines, etc. I have no idea where this is from, but I ripped it out long ago and kept it. And I love it.

I love the scene, the seafood, the eggs, the vegetables (are those cardoons in the front right?), the olives, the people, the bare light bulbs, and especially the loaded moment of the encounter that is just about to happen between the man in the yellow shirt and the woman with the bags and the nice bum.

In its day, I’d guess this would have been thought of as a market, not a farmers market or a specialist market or even, probably, an alternative to a supermarket.  It just WAS.   WHERE people bought their food.  Something to re-envision.

Wish I were there.

Where do we think it takes place? Italy? Spain? Portugal?

And wouldn’t it be wild if a reader were to know more about this picture– who painted it, where I might have seen it originally, etc.

—–

A mere few hours later:  I am truly blown away.  My friend Vohn, who blogs here, has identified the painter as  Renato Guttoso and this scene as located in the famous Vucciria market of Palermo in Sicily.  Further point of interest:  a google search on the image of this particular painting lead me to another WordPress blog called OrganizedMagnificenceGlory that pictures the same scene realised in a slightly different style. The mystery continues.

PS 22 Jan 2015– if y0u happen up0n this page, make sure t read this update.

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