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Enclave 1: Res. | Digesting Recipes book launch

Jul 4, 2015

Book launch
Digesting Recipes: The Art of Culinary Notation
Susannah Worth
22 July 2015, 6pm (performances start 7pm)
Arrive early for special cake and bubbly!

An evening of food, films, performance and readings by the author and invited artists Mario D’Agostino, Meg Ferguson, Martha Rosler and Georgia Twigg.

Reflecting on the themes in Digesting Recipes of instruction, ritual and performance, Georgia Twigg will present You Don’t Eat the Skin, an interactive fruit and vegetable installation, and Mario D’Agostino will perform a pizza dough demonstration according to a family recipe. Alongside this there will be food that pays homage to Bobby Baker’s Packed Lunch (1979) and Alison Knowles’ Make A Salad (1962), and looped screenings throughout the evening of Semiotics of the Kitchen: An Audition (2011) by Martha Rosler and Meg Ferguson’s YouTube parody Plantation Shutter Cake Tutorial (2015).

Digesting Recipes: The Art of Culinary Notation scrutinises the form of the recipe, using it as a means to explore a multitude of subjects in post-war Western art and culture, including industrial mass-production, consumerism, hidden labour, and art engaged with the everyday. Each chapter is presented as a dish in a nine-course meal, drawing on examples from published cookbooks and the work of artists such as Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Annette Messager, Martha Rosler, Barbara T. Smith, Bobby Baker and Mika Rottenberg.

Digesting Recipes is published by Zero Books and will be available to buy on the night at a special discounted price. For more information including the full press release go to or email


Susannah Worth sifts and pares the familiar genre of the recipe so that we might better appreciate how politically calorific this bearer of cultural codes really is. The manifold approach of Digesting Recipes to an apparently singular subject is invigorating, its visual art and literary leanings enriching. At a time when competitive leisure cooking, not to mention eating, saturates the television, the high street and the more prosaic channels of the brain, the book performs the important job of re-establishing critical and historical perspectives onto a quotidian authoritarian form. — Sally O’Reilly

Digesting Recipes switches beautifully between questions of genre, language, art and meaning. Susannah Worth thinks carefully and fruitfully about feminist arguments relating to art history and domesticity in particular, with sensitivity and great insight. Her sparkling prose is smooth and engaging, with fresh readings of some by-now classic feminist artworks as well as more recent and obscure pieces. Her focus is acute and laser-like, moving with ease between politics, history and aesthetics. — Nina Power

Susannah Worth lives in London and is a writer and editor. She holds a BA in History of Art from Edinburgh University and MA in Critical Writing in Art & Design from the Royal College of Art. She collaborated as cook and facilitator for The Political Pop-Up Restaurant (2011), a project by artist Jonathan Hoskins which encouraged talking politics at the dinner table. She guest edited Meat Matters (2012) for the CAR podcast (, which included Meatamorphosis, a short story about meat and prostitution. She won the Axisweb Curated Selection Prize in 2013 for Feast Your Eyes: Food in Contemporary Art. In 2014, she presented Ornamental Cookery as part of the Art Licks Weekend, which invited questions about hospitality, domesticity, social aspiration, consumption, labour and mass-production, and sought the answers in crab thermidor and chocolate roulade.

The event is included in 6PM YOUR LOCAL TIME (6PM YLT), a networked, distributed, one night contemporary art event taking place simultaneously in different locations, coordinated from one central venue and documented online via a web application. More info here.

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