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FOOD: Bigger than the Plate

What

Museums & Galleries

For

4 years +

When

18/05/2019 - 20/10/2019

Where

Victoria & Albert Museum

Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Tickets:

£17 adults, £13 concessions. Under 12s free.

This is one of the oddest exhibitions I have ever seen. And not in a bad way. For starters (food pun unintended), what is an exhibition about food doing at the V&A? Surely it should be over Exhibition Road in the Science Museum...

Compostable piggy bank

It starts at the end - composting. Well-presented, artistic displays - a piggy bank made from Argentinian tea that will compost and regrow when you smash it open, funky recycled plastic glasses, a waterless loo. So far, so normal. Kids will relate but it is all a bit educational and, dare I say it, worthy.

Food: Bigger than the Plate

Then on to farming and farming land and how city and country co-exist. Against a beautiful wallpaper of bugs and bees and fruits harvested in the UK is a block build city, with urban green spaces - animals, people at leisure are all part of the scene. You are encouraged to take your own blocks and add, build, adapt. 

The next room - still on farming - and we have various rather wonderful looking stuffed chickens - happy, strutting cockerels not their battery farmed brethren and an artwork, 'This Little Piggy' presenting the life of a pig on a farm in Andalusia. 12 months documented in short films and on the labels of stacked tins of canned pork products. Happy ending Babe this is not though it is not sensationalist or even anti-pig farming. Circle of life on a small artisan farm.

Food Bigger than the Plate

On the other side of this room Project Florence is an interface that allows you to 'talk' via a keyboard to a strawberry plant. Yes, Florence replies to your questions - not entirely coherently. Stop off to pick up a recycled cup of Rosemary syrup from an eco co-operative in East London as you pass into the next room - more obviously V&A territory - packaging and presentation of various food products from Bovril to tissue paper wrapped Spanish oranges to Irish bread. There is a strong emphasis on provenance, sustainability and recycling.

 

Food Bigger than the Plate

The last room is all about eating. A gloriously sensuous video shows hands holding food - honey dripping down fingers, a cracked egg yolk held in a palm, a pair of hands relishing the texture of tomato covered pasta. There is a Loci Food Lab where you choose your 'food system' on a computer - 'cutting edge', 'protein-rich', 'wild', 'affordable' and it creates the perfect canape.

Food Bigger than the Plate

Food Bigger Than the Plate

You exit past a video created over two days within the V&A of a couple feasting in eccentric opulence. It is more than slightly nuts and the perfect ending for this thought-provoking, bizarre confection of an exhibition. 

Food Bigger than the plate

Tickets:

£17 adults, £13 concessions. Under 12s free.

Address:

Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Venue phone:

020 7942 2000

How to get there:

Tube: South Kensington

Venue website:

vam.ac.uk

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