With the ban on socialising designed to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, Hannes Egger, has been one of millions of people worldwide who have been cooped up in the kitchen for hours on end, cooking, washing and spring-cleaning. Mealtimes are the highspots of the quarantine day, but in between he has been reading, surfing the Internet, drawing, listening to music and ‘chatting’ with friends.
Amid pots and pans, kitchen stove and work-desk, he has got up an audio performance that everyone can interpret from their homes. The six-minute slot is dedicated to all who are confined to the house at this tricky juncture.
What prompted Kitchen Performance or The Order of Things was Martha Rosler‘s 1975 performance Semiotic of the Kitchen. Hannes Egger takes his cue from the American artiste’s performance by donning an apron and pronouncing the word (in English). He then suddenly starts digging all sorts of things out of cupboards. It boils down in the end to making and consuming a nice comforting cup of coffee. But by the time the performance ends, nothing will be as it was before: a new order will have been achieved.
Egger’s invitation here is to enjoy, in full awareness, a physical experience within the walls of the home, living the situation wittingly and with a pinch of irony, taking stock of the order of things and possibly the order of this world of ours. In Kitchen Performance or The Order of Things Egger wonders how far our general habits, perceived life-view and criteria of order may be altered, and how much they will have to be tailored to the new circumstances. Will Corona Virus reshape world order? Can we think again and re-plan our world via this crisis, possibly starting from our own kitchen?
Kitchen Performance or The Order of Things
Photo: Hannes Egger