documentation and curatorial practice as political engagement

Art & Public Policy, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University


food as cultural chemistry

Anooj’s Facilitation Notes from long ago

A part of me wishes I knew the expectations of me that I know now when I was in class on Friday. It was an interesting day for me to be a co-host in class because of how low on energy I was running, and that definitely impacted my ability to make connections and to create questions that meaningfully progressed conversation, which I feel like is something I typically love to engage in. With that, I want to offer the list of free-association questions that I wrote during last week’s readings, and some questions that came while in class as well:

-What did our mothers go through?

-How do we leverage short-term possibility of exploiting for long term deconstruction?

-How does personal suffering turn into oppression for others?

-What is food a symbol of to you outside of hospitality? How is food a form of resistance? A form of identity?

-Is food a memorial?

-What is the scientific chemistry of food you love? What is the interpersonal and cultural chemistry of food you love?

-How does your body feel when you eat food that reminds you of home?  How do you want others to feel when eating this food?

-When you hear food what do you see hear smell touch taste and feel?

-What does the land have to do with it?

-How does food cultivate your artistic practice?

-How does food promote chaos? For who? To what impacts?

-Is the food waste we create necessary? (Re: The celebration of 3id lkbir)

-In what way is your cooking performative?

-How has urban food trends allowed people to access culture from afar? Is this a positive thing?

-What is the difference between a meal cooked at home and the same meal made at a restaurant?

-How does affection impact taste?

-What impact does ignoring ideology have on even well thought out action?

-What is it that makes you feel welcome? What is a welcoming?

I also wanted to bring in two specific readings, one on Rasa Aesthetics and another called Slow Money which both, in very different ways, addresses food and its (and where it comes from’s) impact on performance and performativity. Hopefully I can touch base with Luisa on these things for Friday’s class.

A large takeaway from me at the beginning of class, especially throughout my continuous questioning of style, was the value of studying predecessors for the sake of avoiding repeating answering questions in ways that have been asked before. I think within style, we can also find a nonlinear representation of artist collectives and allow who we consider to be in a collective to transcend notions of time. This ties into the idea that was brought up about the amount of eyes being embedded into a painting, which is distinct to me from the concept of simply viewing a piece of art. If a memory is embedded into the fabric of a piece of art by witnessing it, are we creating a collective? I think this gets complicated when we think of the established hierarchies of style and taste and what “embedded” eyes were socialized to result in that embedding.

Hosting and facilitating felt empowering because the primary role in it is to be an active listener and responder to the goings-on around you. I would have loved to do this on a day that I perhaps had a bit more gusto in me, but am thankful for getting to be a part of the skype conversations as well as the dialogue we began class with. I felt responsible for managing confusion and did not feel like I understood parts of the conversation on individuality vs. collectivity enough to be able to manage that confusion well.



In 1992, Rirkrit Tiravanija created an exhibition entitled Untitled (Free) at 303 Gallery in New York. This landmark piece, in which the artist converted a gallery into a kitchen where he served rice and Thai curry for free, has been recreated at MoMA as part of the installation Contemporary Galleries: 1980–Now on view on the second floor. This back office curry kitchen has been replicated to scale, and the artist worked with MoMA to recreate the experience, with curry prepared and served by the Museum’s restaurant staff daily from noon—3:00 p.m.

In this deceptively simple conceptual piece, the artist invites the visitor to interact with contemporary art in a more sociable way, and blurs the distance between artist and viewer. You aren’t looking at the art, but are part of itand are, in fact, making the art as you eat curry and talk with friends or new acquaintances.

In the video above, Laura Hoptman, curator in the Museum’s Department of Painting and Sculpture, discusses the work, and visitors share their reactions. But come see for yourself, Thai vegetable curry and rice will be served through February 8 only, and the original recipe can be found in the installation.Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 3.20.44 PM.png


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Joy’s family recipe: lots of potatoes!

This is a recipe that has been going down the family tree for generations! My grandmother is the one who passed it to me. We used to go to her house for the jewish holidays and she would prepare some fabulous potato knishes. Me, my brother and my cousins loved them! No matter how much of them she made, we would finish the whole plate. Now, my mom waits the whole family with knishes every time we get together.

Here is the recipe:

  1. For every 48 knishes, 1 1/2 kg of white potatoes is needed
  2. Boil the potatoes
  3. Once boiled, make sure to take all the remaining water. The potatoes should be very dry.
  4. Cut 2 onions in very little squares
  5. Fry the onions in olive oil, without burning them. The onions should be browned
  6. Smash the potatoes and add the onions together with some salt
  7. You can make your own dough or else buy the pre-made “empanadas” dough
  8. Fill the round dough with the potato mix and close it as if it were a bag.
  9. Paint the extremes of the “bag” with egg so as to stick them
  10. Paint the dough with egg
  11. Cook them in the oven!
  12. Eat 🙂


PS. Pictures to be added soon!


Ooh E Goo by Tyler’s Grandma

I guess I learn how to cook just watching, Mommy cindy and M’mon – daddy’s mama, I learned a lil bit from her too. 


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