Gasworks presents Mouthfeel, the first solo exhibition in London by Maryam Jafri. Comprising the newly commissioned short film of the same name and a new photo-text work entitled Product Recall: An Index of Innovation (both 2014), the exhibition explores the politics underpinning the industrial production of food, connecting themes as diverse as “big food”, flavour enhancement technology and overconsumption.
Encompassing moving image, text, photography and performance, Jafri’s research-based practice often merges fiction and documentary to explore how historical and economic constructs manifest in everyday gestures, manners and items such as clothes, food and textiles.
Mouthfeel (21:30 min, HD video with sound) combines staged and found footage to unravel the politics surrounding the mass production of processed food. The staged scenes are based on an original script by the artist and focus on the conversations of a married couple who work for the same food multinational – a cross between Nestlé and Monsanto. Their exchange is inspired by theatre and television, where socio-political analysis is played out through everyday, familial dialogue with large doses of humour, hypocrisy and violence.
Set in the near future, the wife, a leading food technologist, and the husband, a senior brand manager, find themselves stuck in a chauffeur-driven stretch limo at a security checkpoint in an unspecified global city. The wife, played by Jafri, has uncovered a potential health problem with their new product, which her husband is determined to cover up. Along with excerpts of found footage sourced from different countries in the global south and which act as “commercial breaks”, these scenes address themes of convenience, good taste and the disparities between mass and artisanal forms of production.
Mouthfeel is commissioned by Gasworks in partnership with steirischer herbst festival 2014 and produced by Spike Film and Video.
Dates: 21 March-18 May 2014
Times: Wednesday- Sunday 12pm- 6pm
Venue: Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, London, SE11 5RH