Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thematic Photographic - Kitchen

Every Wednesday, Carmi posts the week's theme for Thematic Photographic. For the next seven days, bloggers post photos that echo that theme. This week's theme is: Kitchen.

This gold-plated stove is part of an art installation presented this summer by the KKProjects Life is Art Foundation in the St. Roch neighborhood of New Orleans. A collection of derelict abandoned houses hold a series of month-long installations by local and international artists. The artists are to use the houses as they find them.

We toured the exhibit this past summer.

This piece is part of an exhibit called Interior Ritual, by artist Jeffery Forsythe. Gold leaf has been applied to the entire space. From the site, here's the idea behind it:

The first room, occupied by a lone gold-leafed oven, is dimly illuminated the appliance itself- light emanates from its slightly ajar door. In the second room, a rusty air-conditioner, original to the space, steadily hums. The next room holds nothing but a can of Raid, also original to the house. And in the final room, the installation comes to life. Golden light reflects from every surface, overwhelming the visitor with astonishing radiance.

As a medium, gold leaf carries rich history. The laborious process of fabricating the leaf, combined with the value of gold itself, reserves its application for the highest expressions of spirituality, education and wealth.

Forsythe’s application of the medium to the abandoned house brings the traditions surrounding the preciousness of the material to ruin. Gold Leaf, by its very presence a symbol of achievement and significance, is applied to an unworthy object in an unwanted space.

To further alienate the traditions around gold leaf, Forsythe left his surfaces untreated, allowing for the initial pristine finish to slowly degrade. The familiar relationship of the material with its environment through exposure to leaks and open walls results in the sacrifice of its purity. Over time, the preciousness is lost. And yet, through the sacrifice a meeting takes place. An ordinarily disdained environment is made precious. Two ends of the value spectrum meet: The unwanted is elevated; the unreachable is naturalized and made intimate with life.

So... what's cooking with you?


mo.stoneskin said...

If I painted our cooker in gold I would be in BIG trouble!

Csquaredplus3 said...

The photograph naturally popped at me in my Reader, but I really like the "idea behind it". What is of value to us? Love the contrasting thoughts.

What's cooking with me? We're going to the zoo today! Thanks for asking!

Tanna said...

I love the line, "The next room holds a nothing but a can of Raid, also original to the hoouse." Was it gold-leafed also?

G, thanks for stopping by!

Shayla said...

The statement was really good. I was initially annoyed, but the artist won me over.

mamie said...

I love the gaudy gold with the rustic setting. Nice choice for the theme.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I want that stove!!!

(actually, having fallen into the trap laid by the main stream media, we put in all stainless steel when we remodeled our kitchen last year. Now I spend my days wiping finger prints off all the appliances. I hate hate hate them. At least with gold leaf I would be able to smile while having my day taken up with such absurd activities as wiping down CLEAN appliances)