This month (and maybe a bit longer, if we like how it feels) we will be tying on our apron strings (and double belting in a cool, official way), putting on our Mario Batali- approved kitchen clogs, and making our way, one sticky page at a time, through our favorite cookbooks. We'll also be compiling a list of what we like to listen to when we put water on to boil, thinking about how kitchens really feel to us, and trying to wrangle in a couple Traveling Lights as far as our cooking kit is concerned (or rather, finally letting my cup measure have its day in the sun).
In other words, it's KITCHEN time.
This past Sunday in Berlin, perhaps in registering a long-brewing homesickness, and blindly following some magnetic pull towards what would cure me – or maybe just finally resolving to fix the problem of my own boredom on a day in a city where everything is closed* – I found myself making a spontaneous visit to Amerika Haus, a.k.a. the new-ish home of the C/O Berlin Gallery.
No, there is nothing that can replace the serendipitous joy close physical proximity affords. Scrolling through my Instagram feed has its own benefits, I’m sure, but it does not result in the kind of joyous accidental closeness that shared sidewalks and streets and grocery stores do. It is a poor proxy for friendship maintenance. But what else is to be done?
I was lucky enough to spend an intermittently sunny & dismal morning at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London last week, where Woodman’s work is on view through this weekend. I’m not sure whether my babe or I loved the show more. Not that there is anything childish about the work, but that Woodman deals so tantalizingly with the visual equivalent of sugar, for babies: her obsession is with creating and confounding surfaces.
The glorious day my parents finally caved to my manipulative whining and added MTV to the list of our available TV channels - thus freeing my sisters and me from suffering through endless and truly mind-destroying episodes of VH1's Pop Up Video feat. Duncan Sheik Barely Breathing - coincided, magically, with a sick day home from school. At 10 AM, Channel 52 went from static to transmitting a clear picture of Carson Daly's face, and ahead of me stretched a long day to lie on the couch in the warm sunlight and eat cinnamon sugar toast, to watch MTV Jams and read Seventeen magazine in the ad breaks. In this memory I believe I feel the pure, unadulterated joy of youth.
Claire-Louise Bennett's Pond was published first in Ireland by Stinging Fly Press and then in England by Fitzcarraldo Editions. And we love it.