Oreos Are Now the Literal Face of Gender Politics

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Judith G. Klausner
Thanks to a Massachusetts artist named Judith G. Klausner, the rarefied practice known as food art has reached its obsessive-compulsive zenith.

Klausner has spent many hours (and, we imagine, her eyesight) creating "From Scratch," a series of impossibly intricate works using such media as Oreo cookies, breakfast cereal, condiments, and toast. On her website, Klausner explains that she's turning Oreos into cameos and mustard and ketchup into wallpaper as a way of commenting on the current fixation with old-fashioned handicrafts and home cooking and the ways in which modern-day convenience foods have liberated women by giving them time to do something other than cook all day long.

"Home cooking is once again gaining popularity," she writes. "Within this atmosphere, the temptation to romanticize the past is strong. Yet, the availability of packaged foods is what allows us the time to pursue careers, to develop new technologies, to create. The food on our tables may not be as tasty as it once was. It may not even be as wholesome. But it is important to take a step back and recognize the trade that has been made, and that what we have gained is not to be undervalued."

In other words, you can stop beating yourself up for all of the pickling, jamming, and pig-butchering you somehow haven't been able to fit into your schedule. Given the choice, Grandma probably wouldn't have done those things, either.

[Via Gothamist]

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MassFan
MassFan

As you note, the intricacy of Klausner's work portrays a creative ambivalence towards the artisanal efforts of her foremothers. It's this tension, and her skilled evocation of the generally lost art of the miniature, that gives her work such resonance. I think it's great stuff.

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