Scenario by Asako Iwama
posted by: Esra Sarigedik Oektem
"Where We Cook and Eat Together" by Asako Iwama is the second scenario curated by Esra Sarigedik Öktem within the framework of the Scenarios about Europe project.
In this scenario the curator and the invited artist Asako Iwama continue to think together about the meanings of Europe and its meanings especially from the perspective of their cultural identity. Prior to the opening of this scenario they collaborated to cook a meal and eat it together with the other participants of the project. Like with the first scenario, the participants of the project have been the inspiration for this scenario, with a specific interest in creating a meeting point that would bring each of them together.
The curator and artist are from Turkey and Japan respectively. Having both dealt with the condition of being “foreign” and “exotic” in relation to Western Europe, this scenario looks to both bring into view and subvert cultural stereotypes and clichés through a culinary exchange, drawing attention to the complexities of cultural translation in this process. The idea for Where We Cook and Eat Together started with a recipe for plum marmalade by an elder woman from Germany. The first trials of the marmalade in Turkey were made with plums purchased in Istanbul. The results were sent to Germany and the recipe’s owner detected “an extra flavour”. The marmalade was then made with plums purchased in Germany and the results have been sent to the museum in time for the opening of this exhibition. Examples of these marmalades are kept in the cabinet with all the other preserved food brought by the other participants. In the artist’s words:
I install one vitrine in the exhibition space similar to one you might find in a natural science museum or like a cabinet at home. The vitrine hangs on the wall and slowly fills up with jars and dried vegetables. Each of the items will be collected from the various places the participants have travelled from.
I place what I find in the vitrine in a ritualistic way,
in an archaeological way,
and after a few months, the filled vitrine will open to others
inviting people with the theme of collecting ideas
and share the food
even though the food eventually exits, this nourishment will retain a memory,
a knowledge incorporated into the body,
the vitrine is a symbol of organisms,
a storage of knowledge
filled and emptied.
In a traditional sense, archives can be revisited and the records remain static and tangible. This vitrine, however, will function as an archive that makes explicit this sort of knowledge acquisition. The preserved food will be consumed in a way that physically depletes the vitrine, but the memory will be re-internalised and transformed into the eaters' bodies.
posted by Esra Sarigedik Oektem