No Campbell’s Soup
Tracy Cilona, Crystal Fosnaugh and Molly Thornton
Featuring Sabrina Kovacs-Storlie, Morgan LaRose, Amanda Laughtland, Amy Losch, Phoebe Moore, and Shea Witzberger
No Campbell’s Soup is a multimedia installation exploring the relationship of food and feminism. Since the 1940’s, the culture surrounding food in America has evolved in myriad ways, causing a shift in women’s roles. The industrialization of food brought with it a promise of convenience and increased food safety for American families, persuading women to introduce canned and processed foods into the home. This revolution in foodstuffs has made convenient meals commonplace, where “liberation” could be defined by putting dinner on the table in five minutes or less. Conversely, alternative food movements are emerging with messages to eat slow, fresh, organic, and local that necessitates a return to time consumptive homemade meals.
The title, No Campbell’s Soup refers to this shift to industrialized foods and back again. It also acknowledges the use of domestic imagery by male Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, who gained fame with his depictions of the Campbell’s tomato soup can at a time when most women avoided domestic images in their art for fear of not being taken seriously as artists. Along with changes in available foodstuffs and the accompanying cultural shifts, societal values about who should eat what, and the truth of who can eat what has transformed as well. Diets are shaped by economic status (price of fast food vs. whole foods), ethics (vegan/vegetarianism), gender roles (salads vs. steaks) and societal beauty standards (miniscule models).
No Campbell’s Soup is inspired by the imagery of Daisies, a Czechoslovakian feminist farce from 1966. This eccentric, abstract film relies on food and eating rituals as symbolic of class, gender stereotypes, sexism, excess and pleasure. The dinner party is surrounded by symbolism of the film, with an ode to feminism and food illustrated by photos, cutouts, and collage of women, food, butterflies, flowers, covering the space.
Our vision sees the nourishment of oneself, family, friends, or community as a feminist act. No Campbell’s Soup is the transformation of a dinner party, fueled by women’s diverse definitions of nourishment and the accompanying rituals and symbols.