Super Farmers' Market
This event has now finished. Until Jul 17 2010
Time Out says
These days the ornate architectural quotation of Holborn's Sicilian Avenue might be read as the excessive packaging of a shopping arcade rather than aspirational design. This cynical obliteration of one objective by another is a playfully antagonistic backdrop for Super Farmers' Market, a collection of artworks made from common supermarket goods. Fine art and fine dining, it could be said, both confer value through transformation and involve consumption of products chosen according to taste. And just as cuisine can reproduce peasant food or high feasts, art too employs noble and lowly references - a cultural range exemplified here by Rasa Todosijevic's nailed-down loaf of bread and Nicholas Pope's decadent totem-like mound of multicoloured jelly.
Echoing this class transience, the emphatic theme of the show is upcycling. Current ecological and economic pressures are causing us all to adjust our expectations, and yet art is accustomed to scavenging its materials from flotsam. Valourising this, the show takes a pedagogical turn, as common cupboard contents are seen to elicit moments of beauty, contemplation, surprise or enjoyable disgust. Phyllida Barlow's porridge baked for four days, Susan Hiller's found photographs of rude fruit and veg, David Batchelor's columns of spent pill packets and Darian Leader's reflection on plastic toys in cereal packets would surely lead all shoppers to establish an upcycling workshop post haste.
Below stairs these playful curios are underpinned by more explicit politics - Hayley Newman appeals to visitors to take home a morsel destined for landfill, Rasheed Araeen proposes a restaurant supplied with almost out-of-date food and Agnes Varda's film investigates gleaners who pick off the leftovers once harvest time is over. And it is here that Super Farmers' Market clearly decrees action, beyond the cosy artworld or the homely kitchen.