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building atmosphere

June 4, 2013

Marije Vogelzang

My admiration for the conceptual rigor of Marije Vogelzang is boundless.  This newest project by her really gets me going.  A beautiful meeting of Vogelzang’s Food Design movement mantra’s and current ideas floating about in the “history as public engagement” world. Vogelzang deftly designed a food and food preparation performance at the historic house, Huis Van Gijn in Dordrecht.  The act illustrates (I think) the other power of food; the scent. By making a sourdough bread and letting the concoction rise and therefore making the house fragrant, the sourdough is a new actor in the historic house.  This new type of historical imaginings will give visitors and an honest and visceral experience. Read Vogelzang’s rendition of the project.

“The project was assigned by The Association of the Museum of Dordrecht. (Vereniging Dordrechts Museum) and specially made for the former house of banker and collector Simon van Gijn.

I made a sourdough called Simon that grows and lives inside the beautiful old kitchen of the museum. As a sourdough feeds itself and ferments on the bacteria in the air, Simon is site specific and can only be made in the museum. In this way I sort of ‘catch’ the atmosphere of the collector’s house. Once a week the sourdough is being baked as a cake in a special copper baking pan I designed for it. When Simon is being baked the smell will spread trough the premises making the house, which is a silent witness of the past filled with lifeless artifacts, come to life again. The sourdough, which needs to be taken care of every day, is a living organism and will be shared amongst the visitors on order to take Simon home and take care of him. (Bare with me, just think of cake Herman)
The recipe of the final cake is based on the ingredients used by the mother of Simon van Gijn (around 1850)”



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