All You Have To Do

Robinson, Sally ORCID logoORCID: (2021) All You Have To Do. [Creative Project]


The output is a creative project, comprising of photographs and moving image gifs. This body of work was produced/curated in response to a call for artworks from Carleton University, Canada, as part of their ‘Food Matter and Materialities: Critical Understandings of Food Cultures’ conference. Research process: “All You Have To Do” is an instructional heading taken from ‘Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook’, first published in 1950. The work responds to cookbook such as the above named, referencing the visual style and language of post-war Western cookbooks in general. The work attempts to contextualise these cookbook images through the prism of contemporary visual culture, by borrowing from the conventions of web-based image production, and presenting the work in an online format. Research insights: This project continues my research into food in visual and popular culture, specifically cookbooks (historical and contemporary), and social media. The post-war period of cookbooks referenced in the title sees a proliferation of colour photography, the language of which is increasingly aspirational. This trend continues today, in printed media and on TV, and increasingly on social media, the latest shop window for aspirational domesticity. Online, we perform a carefully crafted and curated version of our lives. This work explores the anxieties generated by mainstream food images, and questions the nature of aspiration in relation to visual food practices. In visual culture, the depiction of food is often divorced from. Dissemination: The work was included in an online exhibition managed by Carleton University, as part of the ‘Food Matters and Materialities’ conference, from 22 Sept - 31 Oct, 2021.

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