Friday, 25 November 2011

In the kitchen

Photobucket Photobucket When I'm not out at college in the studio one of my favourite places to spend time is in the kitchen of our house in Ealing. Over the summer we managed to grow a little of our own produce despite being away much of it, the cabbages in particular were delicious fried in olive oil and garlic. I've also been able to try my hand at pasta thanks to Dulcie buying me my own Imperia Pasta Maker for my birthday back in September, using Tipo 00 flour from the amazing Lina Stores on Brewer Street in Soho. Of course, Fred the cat is never far away, demanding his dinner or more often a little attention!

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Poetics of a Palm Tree

I've long admired the work of Yto Barrada, so was pleased to hear that she is part of the new group show at Tate Modern's Level 2 Gallery, I Decided Not to Save The World. In an approach perhaps similar to that of Francis Alys, the artists in the show look at such topics as cultural identity, territory and globalisation by way of what could be considered gestures, small interventions that have larger implications. For me Barrada's work was the best contribution here, with a body of work that focuses on the palm tree as a symbol for modernisation in her native Tangier, its usage by thegovernment as a symbol to attract tourism. Barrada produced a fanzine that was first distributed at the Third Marrakech Biennial and here displayed in its entirety in poster form. Her film Beau Geste shows workers attempting to save the life of a palm tree on a vacant plot of the land that has been sabotaged in order that it might fall down - it is illegal to cut down a palm tree, and so in order to stop the owner of the land developing on it Barrada explains how these people have set about to save the tree and thus disrupt his plans. A simple gesture it may be, Barrada highlights the resistance that can occur in the face of a modernising and globalising economy.

Images from here.