The Empire Remains
Artists. Cooking Sections, Joni Taylor, Radha La Bia
Organisation. Delfina Foundation
The Empire Remains Shop took the form of a physical storefront on Baker Street in London that featured a range of performances, installations, discussions, dinners and screenings; a number of which were new commissions. As a concept The Empire Remains Shop speculated on the possibilities and implications of selling back the remains of the British Empire in London today.
Food formed a tool through which to assemble new sites and geographies, while exploring origins, destinations and exchanges across the present and future within the postcolonial context. The project was presented by the London-based duo Cooking Sections.
The Empire Remains Shop drew on the never opened Empire Shops proposed for 1920s London, whose intention was to make foods such as sultanas from Australia, oranges from Palestine, cloves from Zanzibar, and rum from Jamaica familiar and available to those in the British Isles.
The Empire Remains Christmas Pudding was an installation and performance by Cooking Sections. It was a reinterpretation of the Empire Christmas Pudding from 1928, the original recipe was created by the Empire Marketing Board and was made up of ingredients from different British Colonies to promote the consumption of British goods. The ingredients for the Cooking Sections pudding were sourced as in the original recipe but many ingredients were no longer available due to changing territorial conditions or economic policies that dissolve the notion of ‘origin’.
Cooking Sections are Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe, a pair of London-based spatial practitioners. Cooking Sections intend to explore the systems that organise the world through food – utilising installation, performance, mapping and video in their research-based practice.
The Keir Foundation is proud to have been involved with The Empire Remains Shop, particularly in the commissioning of the The Empire Remains Christmas Pudding installation and performance by Cooking Sections, and the work of Sydney-based artists Shahmen Suku (Radha La Bia) and Joni Taylor (New Landscapes Institute).