VALIE EXPORT Culinary Arts
This week’s Culinary Arts section reflects on how the kitchen is also a political and gendered space.
In her seminal film Invisible Adversaries (1976) VALIE EXPORT problematizes the gendered imbalance of domestic tasks. ‘One of of the richest avant-garde features of the 1970s’ (J. Hoberman) the film presents a woman’s struggle to retain her sense of self against hostile alien forces that appear increasingly ubiquitous, colonizing the minds of all those around her.
Like the hostile alien forces, society’s expectations of women also present a threat to the female sense of self. In the film, the kitchen becomes a hostile space. A specific scene showing the preparation of a meal conveys the automated and oppressed experience of womanhood. Through skillful montage and poignant imagery, VALIE EXPORT shocks the viewer out of patriarchal patterns of thought.
As we are all trapped in our houses during lockdown, the home is becoming an increasingly violent place for many people. Domestic abuse cases are rising rapidly, calls are ‘up 25% since lockdown’ in the UK according to the BBC and more than 32 % in France according to Reuters. If you would like to donate to help those who are affected we have linked charities below:
FONDATION DES FEMMES, FRANCE