June 12, 2022 → Aus der Speisekammer – in Folkwang und die Stadt for 100 years of Folkwang Museum, Essen

AUS DER SPEISEKAMMER (out of the food chamber) come topics such as producing and preserving – food and community, hosting, confronting abundance and scarcity. What are the basic needs and requirements to start a conversation?

What does the food we eat reveal to us? The dishes we eat of? How do we consume, how do we relate to time, impermanence and spoilage, and what should we work together to preserve or conserve?

DIE WERKKÜCHE (workshop kitchen) was designed and built by Mascha Fehse and Paula Erstmann and activated together with the St. Gertrud Church and the Folkwang Museum. Over a period of 3 months, it was installed in the public space in front of the St. Gertrud Church where the Essener Tafel distribute their food on the ground floor of the church and many non-profit organizations work around the topic of food supply: e.g. warm food distribution for people without a fixed residence, Tafel, lunch offers for families, child care, senior citizens’ meeting, counseling for refugees…

The Werkküche was equipped with removable catering equipment for events. It served as a hub for various programmed and spontaneous events: A stage for the initiatives that have already been active in the church for years and as a meeting point for museum visitors, interested people and random guests in the public space.

THE SUMMER PROGRAM was dedicated to three tasks of the Werkküche: the production, both of the equipment and the food, on front stage and not, as usually practiced, in the hidden; the common meal shared along the table in public space; and the storage, conservation, and exhibition of experiences and products. Together with the museum, which itself collects and preserves cultural artifacts, the artists set out to inscribe memories, impressions, and notions of eating together into the installation and to make the incoming food durable in order to extend the momentary abundance in a fragile context and to bring the most diverse people to the table with a gesture of generosity. Unused billboard spaces in the brick wall of the church were used as a gallery to announce events, but also to recount past moments, invite new uses, and showcase an outdoor exhibition of the artwork created.

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Culinary interventions in front of St. Gertrud Church during 100 Years of Folkwang – Folkwang and the City (21.5. to 7.8.2022) Mascha Fehse & Paula Erstmann together with and thanks to:

Anja Mohr – Caritas-SkF-Essen gGmbH

Martha Semeraro, Astrid van der Heyden,Thomas and Ernst – Flizmobil

Barbara Breuer – Caritas group St. Gertrud, Essener Tafel distribution point

Ingrid Steinhauer-Sarr – Fairsorger

Nelson Müller and team

Jil Lahr – graphics

Markus Ambach, Irina Weschedel, Patrick Harnisch – MAP