Here’s an update about the 3 components of my installation at the RISK exhibit. The opening reception is Thursday February 13 from 5:30 – 8:30pm and the exhibit runs from February 10 – April 26, 2014 at the Glass Curtain Gallery, 1104 S. Wabash in downtown Chicago.
1) Anxiety Garden: Financial Crisis Mycoremediation
This piece features oyster mushrooms decomposing books that represent the anxieties of the global financial crisis, including financial guides about risk management, texts authored by Chicago School economists like George Stigler, and books by and about the figureheads of neoliberalism, such as Margaret Thatcher and Deng Xiaoping.
2) Anxiety Garden: Do not open until 2021
This piece features jars of Iranian pickled garlic (torshi-eh seer), also known as Seven-Year Pickle because it is best eaten after being aged several years. This is not a heat-pasteurized or traditional salt brine ferment, and as such it may be considered risky by professional food safety standards. Chicago health code prohibits commercial kitchens to do their own canning without special permission to do “Modified Atmosphere Packaging”, requiring a course in “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points”. However, traditional folk methods usually do not follow these types of stringent procedures. For generations Iranians have pickled all sorts of vegetables in large clay pots which were stored in cellars to age. Please email soulfoodstories-at-gmail.com if you would like to take home one of the jars of pickles at the end of the exhibit.
To learn more, join Columbia College Chicago’s office of Asian American Cultural Affairs for Food for Thought: Operation Pickle, at the Glass Curtain Gallery on the first floor of 1104 S Wabash Ave. Try food from Iran and learn about the traditional Persian new year, Norooz, which falls on the vernal equinox. In the Zoroastrian tradition, a celebratory table spread called “haft-seen” is laid out with seven objects symbolizing the return of new life in spring. Come to the gallery to learn more about one of these items which happens to be garlic. Seating is limited, RSVP to rgupta-at-colum.edu.
3) Anxiety Garden at the Green Art + Social Practice (GASP) Fair
The first ever Green Art + Social Practice (GASP) Fair is seeking proposals for student work to be exhibited during a pop-up art and science fair at Columbia College from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm on Friday, April 25, 2014. The GASP Fair takes the notion of a traditional poster session and combines it with the strategies of social practice, using participatory engagement to explore the diverse intersections of art, science, and the humanities. To apply, contact ftoosi-at-colum.edu
In addition to acting as the faculty organizer for the GASP Fair, I’m starting seeds indoors to be transplanted to the Papermakers’ Garden at 8th and Wabash. The garden bed will be used to grow powerful medicinal plants that are used to treat anxiety. To learn more, join me for Heritage Tea Time from 12:30-1:30 on Monday March 10 to try some anxiety tea and heritage and heirloom foods like benne wafers.