I’m always fascinated by the craft and science of art conservation, but until this Smithsonian piece I don’t think I’ve read anything about the particular challenges of preserving art made with food. The sculpture described in the article is Lick and Lather by Janine Antoni, a 1993 artwork that is widely cited in studies of both food art and feminist art: two classical-looking busts made of soap and chocolate which were slowly eroded over time as the artist periodically washed with the soap and snacked on the chocolate.
It’s a wonderful example of several themes that recur in art made by feminist and female artists in that decade: the female artist is both the subject and the object of the piece (it is a self-portrait); it is a very corporeal artwork, alluding to what are historically thought of as lower-order senses and bodily functions; and it performs its classical aesthetic beautifully while also suggesting the breakdown of that classical ideal. But since erosion is so much a part of the artwork, the decision to stabilize the materials and suspend the process of decay is not undertaken lightly.
The linked article mostly dwells on the soap; I would have liked to have read more about the process of conserving art made of chocolate, but apparently there is a book on the subject.
Lucky Peach has a guide to determine whether food is safe to eat if it’s been hanging out in your fridge for awhile, in case you find that helpful.
Also at Lucky Peach: food horoscopes! I have a soft spot for astrology, particularly when its guesses as to my present conflicts are on point and when it offers advice I’m happy to take. Case in point: I just started a physically active new job this week; I’m so busy that I entirely forgot that I had scheduled the Li-Young Lee post for this week and did not even remember whether I’d finished it; and I literally just made slow cooker beef and broccoli yesterday. And lo, the stars say:
Hello Taurus, have you had enough to eat and drink today? The Tauruses in my life tend to be the hangriest.
Are you slowing down and checking in with yourself, even when life is seriously getting in the way? Tauruses are having a great month work-wise, but it wouldn’t benefit you in the slightest to start doing shots of Soylent. Au contraire! Taurus is the patient, steadfast sign, which means it actually isn’t that hard for you to have it all. Patience is your virtue, but you’re busy right now, so think about the intersection of cooking and convenience: anything made in a Crock-Pot that you can set and forget, or healthy breakfasts of overnight oats or chia pudding.
And along the lines of embracing the entropy you can’t prevent: this very short link roundup is the harbinger of the upcoming lapse in posts while I get my bearings at work and in my latest batch of dissertation revisions.