(Literally) stuffed in the fridge
Nourit Melcer Padon
(Hebrew University, Jerusalem)
Paper short abstract:
The possibility of comfort in the home’s epicentre, the kitchen, is examined through two installations by Italian artist Mauricio Cattalan. Cattelan challenges preconceived notions relating to this particular space on the one hand, and to gender, nurture, death, and memory on the other.
Paper long abstract:
The Comfort of Home translates for many into the nourishment the home can provide, and accordingly, the kitchen is often considered as the epicenter of the house. Two works by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan forcefully challenge this idea: "Bidibidobidiboo" (1996) and "Betsy" (1999). Thwarting expectations and preconceived notions in both works, Cattelan manages to shock, surprise and create strong feelings of uncanniness, that are particularly disturbing in this part of the home. His works raise a series of intriguing questions in his viewers: any tentative answer necessarily re-determines the space of the kitchen in terms both of function and of the notion of comfort one can expect to experience there. Cattelan imposes a new way of thinking about what is natural - or not - in a kitchen, and the consequences of modern urbanization. Cattelan also provides a novel point of view regarding gender roles in the household and the centrality of memory, all "cooked" according to his private recipe regarding life and death.
Dis)comforts of home: historical and cultural perspectives