Making food by hand, from scratch, is about physicality and temporality and nourishment and delight and loss. Human bodies and what they can and cannot do. Need. The temporary. The desire to touch and be touched. Making food by hand is rarely efficient and never automated. It is a form of speech when there are no words.
This project consisted of the baking and display of ten banana cakes and ten chocolate cakes to celebrate the wedding of Lucy Raven and Alex Abramovich. The ingredients were acquired in Los Angeles and over the internet and driven from Los Angeles to Tucson, where the cakes were baked in the homes of Samuel Ace and Kristen Nelson at Casa Libre en La Solana. The cakes were transported to Stillwell House on the afternoon of the wedding—October 13, 2013—where the banana cakes were frosted with cream cheese frosting and the chocolate cakes were dusted with powdered sugar using paper cut-outs to make heart and star patterns. The cakes were then decorated with blueberries and raspberries, flowers, and (in the case of the two-story “wedding cake”) with shot glasses in the shape of pistols etched with the words “His” and “Hers” in cursive. The cakes were decorated and arranged by Yelena Gluzman, Jen Hofer, Rob Ray, and TC Tolbert.
I critique marriage boisterously and with enthusiasm; it is not an institution in which I choose to participate. Yet when offered the opportunity to perform someone’s marriage or celebrate someone’s marriage by baking absurd amounts of sweet treats in my entirely non-industrial kitchen (or in this case in someone else’s entirely non-industrial kitchen), I assent boisterously and with enthusiasm.
Love made material; the material disappears. Love enacted through repetitive (if not ritualized) practice: gather, measure, melt, whisk, combine, stir, spread, heat. Love is alchemy: one thing becomes another, or two or more things become a third thing altogether.