Fermentation cabinet, perpetual soup and primitive smokers.
A 3-parts installation / performance during a contempory art event all across the houses of a popular district in north of France. How to set up ancestral gastronomic practices such as fermentation, perpetual soup and smoking in the daily life of an urban family ? Hours, days or even weeks, these actions involve a different appreciation of time and therefore of the perception of the continuum which links birth to death. The perpetual soup was established in the living room. During the 3 days of the event, visitors were asked to interact in several ways : A table chart indicated the participants time of intervention, the state of the broth, the critics and possible improvements they suggested, their final modifications and their signature. At least 150 participants attended to the perpetual soup which went through many phases, mostly due to its volatile compounds and the famous missing ingredient : time. A shared responsibility, and as often during major popular consultations, the results can be bitter-sweet.
In the kitchen, we were proposing a guided tasting of an assortment of fermented vegetables, created with the family, 2 weeks earlier. Everyone, including Paloma, 1 year old, had given a bit of themselves. That is to say that while we were handling vegetables with our clean hands, we all have put on it some of our own lactobacterias. We have shared stories, knowledge, ancestral and specific gestures. And more than recipes, we’ve shared life moments, we’ve shared trust, during two weeks, the family took care of this biotope, our collective creation.
Rodolphe, a resident of the house, was a landscape architect. We designed together a kind of primitive oven / smoker, dug into the ground of his garden. The neighbourghood brought chickens, a lamb’s head, a salmon, vegetables which we smoked for a few hours before bringing them to the table of a local banquet given the same evening.