America’s knowledge of food related topics, its cultural history and its social implication is disappointing. I have worked in all aspects of the food industry and witnessed countless clients interacting with food – from supposed “foodies” and self-proclaimed chefs to global jet setters and philanthropists undertaking food insecurity via gentrification – and their understanding of food history, justice and culture is continually lacking. In response, my work concentrates on awareness through visual representation of an often uncomfortable and visceral necessity all humans perform – eating. My objective is to entice viewers to look at aesthetically pleasing images and film, then connecting them with undercurrents that our regularly misguided culinary “renaissance” neglects to address.
How to Eat Everything
Photography & Recipe Collection
I am photographing 200+ participants eating single ingredients to appear opposite a recipe highlighting that single ingredient, in total assembling into an art/social commentary forward cookbook. Not only does the reader learn that an ingredient exists, they learn how to prepare it and see an exaggerated performance of someone eating that particular ingredient. Because the participant is cropped so that their eyes are not included, voiding the viewer a direct connection with any singular person, they become a generic human eating. Vague tidbits of each participant provides a personal touch, while simultaneously equating them to “everyone.” Ultimately, I am informing everyone, how everyone eats everything.
The Dinner Party
I am recording 24 participants, of starkly different ages and backgrounds, eating three-course meals at a formal table setting in complete isolation. The installation will simultaneously will cycle through eight of the recordings on large monitors, arranged to insinuate people congregating around a communal table, ultimately forming a “dinner party.” This project questions the short term visual effects of human loneliness and isolation, and how they manifest during a fundamental human experience, while voyeuristically examining social constructs around and personal relationships with food.