December 23rd, 2007

operesque

Social cooking at Christmas

Christmas can be a lonely time -- there's nothing worse than feeling isolated during a big festival season, or staying put when everyone else is traveling -- so today I'm just going to send out a "Seasonal Greetings from Hisae and Nick" and add that I hope you're being collective with someone you find tasty, preferably cooking something tasty (as we are in the picture).

On the theme of cooking and being social, Hisae and I went yesterday to Social Cooking Romania, a show at NGBK in Kreuzberg that deals with post-totalitarian Romania via its food production system, from the days of queues to the days of EU agri-subsidy (the country joined the ever-expanding EU on January 1st). My favourite piece in the show -- if I'm honest, for the colour of a camping gas cannister on the trestle table, and I suppose the Relational Aesthetics warmth -- was a photo of Matei Bejenaru's 2002 Spanish action "Strawberry Fields Forever", in which he cooked up a pot of strawberries harvested by Romanian immigrants in Spain.



Bejenaru is an organiser of the Periferic Biennial and editor of Vector magazine. He's very much attuned to economic migration and social exclusion; another of his pieces (shown at Tate Modern this September) was a meticulous travel guide for illegal Romanian workers. Who better, then, to stand in on Click Opera for Santa -- that illegal nomad, economic migrant and generous relational aesthete?