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Fronts of 4 of the 32 recipe cards comprising Suzanne Bocanegra's project

Esopus 14 (Spring 2010)
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Artist’s Project: Suzanne Bocanegra

By Suzanne Bocanegra

“My work is about looking at where performance lives in people’s lives. I have always loved the idea of recipe cards and have a modest collection of vintage cards from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. At first I was drawn to them because of the wonderful food photos, and because of the implications of how women lived their lives in years past. After a while I began to think of them not as cooking instructions but as miniature plays intended for you to perform yourself, in your own home. One side of a recipe card is the recipe and the other is the image of the food that the recipe makes possible; another way to imagine them is that the recipe side is a series of performance instructions you must follow in your own kitchen, and the image side is the set, an idealized representation of the successful staging of the text. I decided to commission my own series of recipe plays, inviting 31 writers to create their own performance instructions in a recipe format. And, just as recipe cards are even to this day disseminated in such magazines as Martha Stewart Living and Ladies’ Home Journal, the cards are inserted in the magazine, perforated and detachable, waiting to be staged.” —Suzanne Bocanegra



Kim Rosenfield is a New York-based writer, poet, and psychotherapist. Her latest book, re:evolution, was released in February 2009. Good Morning-Midnight, Rosenfield’s 2001 release, won Small Press Traffic’s 2001 Book of the Year Award. She has collaborated with visual artists Jean Foos, Cheryl Donegan, Yedda Morrison, and with choreographer Sally Silvers.

Suzanne Bocanegra lives and works in New York City. A recipient of the Rome Prize, she has also received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Tiffany Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in the United States and abroad in such venues as the Serpentine Gallery and the Hayward Gallery in London, the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia. Her film, video, and theatrical work has been presented at the Bang on a Can Festival, the New Haven Festival of Art and Ideas, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and as part of the Wordless Music series in New York City. The Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY, will host a major show of Bocanegra’s work in July 2010.