New York-based artist Hugh Hayden (previously) visualizes the ways African traditions are embedded into multiple facets of American culture through a series of cast-iron skillets. Part of a larger exhibition titled American Food, the 26 pans are molded to reveal facial impressions that evoke West African-style masks, blending the cooking tool and cultural object.
Generally established by cooks who were enslaved, southern food includes many of the flavors, techniques, and ingredients prevalent in African cuisine, forming what Hayden sees as one of the foremost culinary traditions distinct to the United States. This direct impact is evident in the physical artworks—the expressive masks literally emerge from the pans—although it transcends the effects on the kitchen. As he writes about “The Cosby’s” (shown below) on Instagram, “I made this triptych as an homage to the indelible cultural impact of the African diaspora on the creation of American entertainment, food, industry, and society.”
Hayden creates the skillets through sand casting, a manufacturing technique that utilizes the granular substance as a mold, which the artist employs as a way to recognize “the imperfectness of the materials, their colonial histories, and the inherent loss of detail in the reproduction process.” He also parallels the sculpting process to the diaspora, considering how the original object is obscured and imbued with cultural significance when it’s finished. Ultimately, American Food celebrates “the indebtedness to African origins in the cooking—as a form of creation of America, Western culture, and Modern Art,” a statement says.
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“How to Make Sushi” outlines all the necessary tasks to assemble maki: slice your fish, spread the rice, bleed from avocado hand, sweat all over your workspace, spend years agonizing over perfection, and finally, slice your roll into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy?
Made by London-based director and 3D designer Jonathan Lindgren, the humorous animation provides a quirky look at mastering a craft. It’s complete with the basic kitchen skills like cleaning a knife and gathering ingredients, in addition to more emotional labor like ending a romantic relationship and rising early each day.
Lindgren said the instructional project began in 2018 when he created a few frames based on the lives of sushi chefs. After consulting with Luke Brown from The Soundery on a score and actor Yoshi Amao, the director created the short film. “Always being inspired by Japanese animation, this turned into an emulation of many years of reading manga and watching anime. Also seeing how the amazing craftsmanship and graphic design was used in Isle of Dogs definitely influenced me a lot while making this,” he said.
Find more of Lindgren’s amusing animations on Vimeo, and check out his other creative work on Behance and Instagram. You might also want to watch this time-lapse of the making of Isle of Dogs’s sushi scene. (via Uncrate)
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Domestic Perfectionism Overwhelms Faceless Women in a Satirical Series by Photographer Patty Carroll
Patty Carroll’s homebound snapshots are the epitome of domestic pressure: A high-heeled working woman tries to cook and chat on the phone but ends up amid scattered kitchen supplies with her head stuck in the oven. Mops and rags knock another figure down into a sea of neon sponges and cleaning sprays. Two seated women are obscured by constricting drapes and an inordinate amount of fresh produce.
The photographer’s four-part Anonymous Women series is comprised of highly stylized scenes featuring a faceless mannequin attempting—and failing to complete—a range of duties. They’re humorous commentary on the pressure modern women continually face to achieve domestic perfection while excelling professionally and caring for others.
The interior of the home is comforting, but can also camouflage individual identity, especially when the idealized decor becomes an obsession, or indication of position or status…. The “constructed” images in the ongoing series are of home turned inside out, where things are topsy-turvy and scale is variable. Decoration is out of control, and the woman of the house is lost in her own madness.
Carroll began the satirical project after moving to Britain and finding her professional accomplishments disregarded. “Being known as Mrs. Jones rather than the independent, teacher, photographer Patty Carroll sent me into a small identity crisis. I made photographs of vulnerable, stark heads hiding behind various domestic objects as my initial response to this predicament,” she said in a recent interview with Aint-Bad.
One installment of the series, “Domestic Demise,” touches on contemporary issues of consumption, as well, and “is when the woman becomes a victim of her own obsessions and activities. She is no longer in control and life is a series of mishaps and mayhem,” the photographer said. Having too many books, too many items lining the pantry shelves, and too many alcoholic drinks overwhelm the women.
Carroll previously employed models for her drapery series, but as her scenarios got more complex and took longer to shoot, she switched to mannequins. She constructs each chaotic scene within an 8 x 8 frame. Her influences include “colorful vintage movies, traditional still-life paintings, decorating magazines, my suburban upbringing, the game of clue, and even Victorian writing,” she wrote in a statement.
Since being confined to her home due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and because of a recent appendectomy, Carroll says the mundane and oppressive requirements of domestic life are inescapable. “It is hard to ponder larger issues when we are confined to our homes and are concerned with the everyday, seemingly meaningless issues of cooking, cleaning, eating, sleeping, and what is on Netflix for entertainment,” she said. “Nevertheless, all of my photographs are about those simple, ordinary, yet overwhelming tasks that we carry out every day.”
For more of Carroll’s identity-questioning work, pick up her recently released monograph that’s available from Aint-Bad and or a photograph from Catherine Couturier Gallery. Watch videos of the draped women as they attempt their domestic duties on Vimeo, and follow Carroll’s upcoming projects on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
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Alternating between sensual, almost biological macro shots of raw ingredients and the harsh, dully-lit environs of a commercial kitchen, Déguste captures the dual reality of working as a professional chef. The majesty, beauty, and limitless potential of natural ingredients—mushrooms, red meat, fresh greens—are right at hand for the commercial cook. But the unrelenting pace of orders in, orders up, dishing out multiple copies of the same meal at once, and juggling the dangers of sharp and hot tools cuts in again and again. Déguste gives viewers a glimpse at how the sausage gets made, so to speak, in the restaurant world, with an electrifying soundtrack of atmospheric sounds. Created by Paris-based studio Insolence Productions, the short has been lauded at multiple film festivals. See more from Insolence on Vimeo.
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From the mind of Esther Choi comes a new cookbook titled Le Corbuffet: Edible Art and Design Classics. The writer, photographer, and artist has compiled a list of recipes inspired by artists, designers, and their creations, all staged in contemporary arrangements. Recipes seek to distill the practices of figures such as Frida Kahlo and Barbara Kruger into their best and most delicious aspects—like the crisp and bright Frida Kale-o Salad, or the crimson-colored and acerbic Rhubarbara Kruger Compote.
The idea was first launched during a series of participatory dinner parties Choi hosted in 2015 after discovering a 1937 menu designed by artist László Moholy-Nagy for Bauhaus founder and architect Walter Gropius. After creating her own set of detailed dishes, she decided to compile them into a book that would be a playful spin on the artists she admired.
“I hosted the first in a series of ‘Le Corbuffets’ in my Brooklyn apartment, a project which carried on until 2017,” she explains on her website. “Offering meals to an assortment of guests, these social gatherings revolved around the consumption of absurd, pun-inspired dishes that referred to canonical artists and designers. As a commentary on the status of art, food, and design as commodities to be ‘gobbled up’ by the market, the project deliberately twisted idioms to explore the notion of ‘aesthetic consumption’ though taste and perception.”
Le Corbuffet will be published October 1, 2019. You can see her photographs, in additions to snippets of recipes from what she describes as “a conceptual artwork in the form of a cookbook” in the following images, and learn more about her art and writing by following her on Instagram.
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Stop Motion Cooking Tutorials by Omozoc Transform Sporting Goods and Electronics Into Unconventional Meals
YouTube user omozoc uses common household appliances both inside and out of the kitchen to craft his delightfully creative stop motion “meals.” A baseball glove becomes the bun of a strangely enticing hot dog, while a cracked-open computer mouse makes an unusual batch of scrambled eggs on the top of an open copy machine. Each video is composed of thousands of images compiled by the user, who does not use Photoshop or CGI, and features an array of satisfying sound effects. Watch more of his invented cooking tutorials, like a sushi meal created from a business suit and an iPhone, in the videos below, or on his YouTube channel. If you enjoy these animations, also check out stop motion meals by PES.
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Editor's Picks: Photography
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.