Sunday, February 27, 2011

eat; raw falafal served in a salad boat

This alternative to the deep fried greasy falafal, will send the reluctant falafal eater crazy!!! I followed the recipe from bittersweet blog but have adjusted it to my liking. They are made with nutritious raw sunflower seeds and dehydrated to lock in the goodness. Gotta love that!

I served the falafal in 'salad boats' which make for fun eating!

Makes 20 falafal

What you need;
1 1/2 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh continental parsley
1/4 cup fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Tbs tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Dry the soaked sunflower seeds a little between two layers of a kitchen towel. Add half the amount into a food processor and all the other ingredients and whiz until it is a paste. I like my falafal with texture so with the other half of the sunflower seeds, I pulsed it in the food processor until the seeds were just broken up. If you like your falafal smooth, simply put all the seeds in together with the rest of the ingredients and whiz until you get a consistency you like.

Combine the paste mixture and the sunflower seeds into a bowl, mix it thoroughly with a spoon. 

With two teaspoons, form small balls and place on a greaseproof sheet and spray the falafal with olive oil. They should be about bite size.

If using a conventional oven, place the falafal into a very slow oven for about 6 hours to dehydrate, remembering to keep the door ajar with a wooden spoon.

To serve, prepare each serving plate with two Roma lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with grated carrot and cherry tomatoes that have been cut in half. Place three falafal to each salad boat. Drizzle with a tahini sauce made by mixing 1/4 cup tahini, 4 Tbs water, 1 Tbs olive oil, 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, salt to taste.

Buon Appetito!

pink; take care of yourself

This work by Sophie Calle is technically not a pink work in itself, as it is a stamped pink metallic front cover of Calle's book that followed her exhibition at the 2007 Venice Biennale titled, Take Care Of Yourself. I have chosen this book cover after showing my work last week, which combines video and performance and following my post on Tracey Emins text works the previous week.

The image above is of Calle herself, her identity removed by the cropping of the photo at the base of her nose suggesting a universal image of a women. Her bosom peeking through the top of her dress creates a strong image of femininity, sexuality and sensuality, whilst the focus of the image is on the position of the heart, our emotional center. The words projected onto her face, neck and chest are the words of a breakup e-mail she received from her lover the day he ended their affair, in particular, the words he used to end the email 'perenes soin de vous' meaning 'take care of yourself'.

Not only are the words 'perenes soin de vous' projected onto Calle's chest but they are also pressed onto her skin. Similar to the process of livestock branding, which is used for marking livestock so as to identify the owner, it seems Calle is branded with these words, suggesting her ownership by her now ex-lover. In ancient Roman times, the technique of branding was used with particular symbols as part of a magic spell ceremony to protect the animal from harm. Is Calle giving us this image to suggest that she is protecting herself from the inevitable harm a relationship breakup leaves behind or is the image suggesting that an ex lover will always 'own' us in one way or another?

Delving into what lies behind this book cover one would assume we will find the answer, but instead Take Care Of Yourself gives no real answer as to how Calle herself, overcomes these cutting words. She says "What can I do to suffer less?...once I got the idea, it took over, and I didn’t care about the therapeutic aspect anymore."  Calle gives us an investigation of love and loss through a process of asking over 100 women to interpret the break up letter she had received. The women were asked to interpret the letter through their professional position, to analyze it through it's words, and to not include sentiment within their responses. "For example, I wanted the grammarian to speak about grammar—I wanted to play with the dryness of professional vocabulary. I didn’t want the women expressing sentiment for me. " says Sophie Calle. This work could have been seen as a knee jerk reaction to being dumped by email but Calle states the " was not about revenge." 

Even though there is a removal of Calle's personal response within the resulting video installation work which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the book's cover is more revealing as a  personal response by the artist to the letter itself. Presented in the colour pink, and created on pressed metal, it suggests some kind of strong determination to the resolution of a painful and vulnerable experience, probably more akin to the ancient Romans use of branding, so we hope. 

Calle's work is an investigation into human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy through interactions with strangers and estranged lovers, including one work she created recording her mothers dying moments. Calle's use of image and text  provokes an intense emotional response from the viewer and we feel the emotional exposure and the vulnerable position that exists within the roles as 'Calle the artist' and as 'Calle's subjects'.

Jessica Lott, winner of the Frieze Writer's Prize for her review of the piece, wrote: "Calle took the e-mail, and the paralyzing confusion that accompanies the mind’s failure to comprehend heartbreak, and distributed it to 107 women of various professions, skills and talents to help her understand it – to interpret, analyze, examine and perform it. The result of this seemingly obsessive, schoolyard exercise is paradoxically one of the most expansive and telling pieces of art on women and contemporary feminism to pass through (the major art centres) in recent years". You can read the full essay here.

love; ten things i love about santa fe

photo by Chris Fitzpatrick
1. This sign! How lully to have come across it while walking around Santa Fe on my first day here! Made me feel very special indeed! More LOVE to the world!

2. These leaf prints in the concrete along a path in Santa Fe. I imagined a team of big strong men laying down the concrete with all their strength, then taking time to gently press a leaf or two into the wet concrete. LOVE!

photo by Chris Fitzpatrick
3. Champagne foam! Recently, a friend described the snow in Colorado as being like Champagne foam. I never thought I'd experience it but I did this week in Santa Fe! You can blow away a handful of snow with your breath! LOVE!!!!!

4. The Museum of International Folk Art have a permanent exhibition that is a MUST if visiting Santa Fe. It is Alexander Girard collection of toys and folk artifacts from around the world he collected throughout his life, titled Multiple Visions: A Common Bond. My favourites were his collection of tin toys that wind up. Pity I couldn't play with them though! LOVE!
5. The interiors of the restaurants in Santa Fe. The adobe houses here not only look great on the outside, but they are amazing on the inside too! White walls with a rustic finish, wooden tables and exposed beams makes eating out a real pleasure. LOVE!

photo by Chris Fitzpatrick
6. When I was  kid, my brother had an electric train set that I was soooooo jealous of. It had Santa Fe Railway written on it but no-one in my family actually knew what that meant. Well, now I can say my brother may have had the train set and egged on my jealously by not letting me play with it as a kid, but I now have one up on him as I have come to visit the place his train set was inspired by!!!!! LOVE!!!!

7. The fire place in our adobe. They are called Kiva and are typical in the adobes of New Mexico. LOVE having a fireplace crackling while writing away at my computer!

photo by Chris Fitzpatrick
8. Santa Fe at night. It is a quiet town right now as it is the winter season, so there aren't too many people walking the streets. I'm staying near Canyon St where street lights don't exist, so the only source of light for the evening is from the restaurants and galleries.  Very romantic indeed! LOVE!
9. Pomegranate Margarita! YUM! Chris and I enjoyed a night of drinking one too many of these after a lully dinner at The Compound. LOVE!!!!
10. The blue doors with strings of chili. Apparently the blue on the painted doors is an old Mexican practice believed to prevent evil spirits from entering the house and the chiliies drying are to eat. LOVE the colour combo!