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Susannah Worth

MA work

Major Project: A Recipe Digest: Interventions in Culinary Notation

On stolen scraps of paper, in the margins of propaganda leaflets, and even on the back of a photograph of Hitler, women imprisoned at the Terezín concentration camp during the Second World War would scribble remembered recipes: flaky strudel, cherry-plum dumplings, goulash with noodles, gingerbread cookies. Recalling, exchanging and arguing the finer points of a recipe was not only a distraction from extreme and prolonged hunger, but an act of defiance, an assertion of identity and community, and an escape into memories and hopes for the future.

Food has long been used by artists not merely to evoke abundance or beauty, but to interrupt and intervene in fundamental aspects of life and society. The kitchen is a stage on which to follow the scripts which dictate men and women’s models of behaviour, and in turn a platform from which to critique them. In the endeavour to create and to change, the recipe’s imperative tone and its instructive nature can make it a powerful tool as a call to action, or alternatively, a dictating authority to be undermined. Transformation is bound up in the form of the recipe, both actually and metaphorically.

A Recipe Digest explores the form and nature of the recipe. Each chapter is presented as a dish in a seven-course meal, drawing on examples from published cookbooks and the work of artists such as Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Annette Messager, Martha Rosler, Barbara T Smith, Bobby Baker, Jeanne Randolph, Olga Chernysheva and Mika Rottenberg.

Info

  • Susannah Worth profile image
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA Critical Writing in Art & Design, 2013

  • Major Project: A Recipe Digest: Interventions in Culinary Notation

    On stolen scraps of paper, in the margins of propaganda leaflets, and even on the back of a photograph of Hitler, women imprisoned at the Terezín concentration camp during the Second World War would scribble remembered recipes: flaky strudel, cherry-plum dumplings, goulash with noodles, gingerbread cookies. Recalling, exchanging and arguing the finer points of a recipe was not only a distraction from extreme and prolonged hunger, but an act of defiance, an assertion of identity and community, and an escape into memories and hopes for the future.

    Food has long been used by artists not merely to evoke abundance or beauty, but to interrupt and intervene in fundamental aspects of life and society. The kitchen is a stage on which to follow the scripts which dictate men and women’s models of behaviour, and in turn a platform from which to critique them. In the endeavour to create and to change, the recipe’s imperative tone and its instructive nature can make it a powerful tool as a call to action, or alternatively, a dictating authority to be undermined. Transformation is bound up in the form of the recipe, both actually and metaphorically.

    A Recipe Digest explores the form and nature of the recipe. Each chapter is presented as a dish in a seven-course meal, drawing on examples from published cookbooks and the work of artists such as Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Annette Messager, Martha Rosler, Barbara T Smith, Bobby Baker, Jeanne Randolph, Olga Chernysheva and Mika Rottenberg.

  • Degrees

  • MA (Hons), History of Art, University of Edinburgh, 2006
  • Experience

  • Freelance arts editor, copyeditor and proofreader, London, 2010–13; Catalogue managing editor, Ibraaz, London, 2011; Assistant editor, Christie's Magazine, London, 2007–9
  • Awards

  • Winner, Axisweb Curated Selection Prize, 2013