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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fancy a go with Chrissy?

No, no, Chez Pim hasn't turned into one of those sites. These photos are from perhaps the hippest art installation in London at the moment: Simply Botiful by the swiss conceptual artist Christoph Büchel. The installation is at the newish Hauser & Wirth Coppermill Gallery in London's East End.

Simply Botiful is not so much an installation as a fun house, where one climbs into closets and freezers to get to hidden nooks or navigate a maze of dead fridges to see yet more appliances. I'm not entirely sure if I actually got anything the artist was trying to say, but it sure was interesting. Walking through bedrooms and rather mangy living spaces composed of everyday objects gave me a weird feeling, like being forced into voyeurism, especially since it was also strangely captivating. There were things that were there clearly to shock you –explicitly pornographic images, torn pages from the Koran, cling-wrapped copies of Mein Kampf, and half eaten, half rotten food items littered in every corner. Yet the entire thing was oddly convincing and stops ever-so-short of being completely surreal.

If you live in London, you hardly need me to tell you about this. If you're traveling through London anytime between now and March 18, you might want to stop by to check it out. Wear something you can get a little rough and tumble in, and no stilettos, or you'll be sorry.

And since this is a food blog, I probably should tell you that the best way to get to this exhibit is perhaps to take the Tube to Aldgate East and walk down Osbourne, which will turn quickly enough into Brick Lane from where you can eventually turn on Cheshire to get to the gallery. You can do what we did and make a little pit stop on Brick Lane to have tea and some Bengali snacks. We had a couple of savory Samosas and then an assortment of delicious sweets. My favorites were Gulab Jamun, a sort of fried dough soaked in rose water syrup, and Jalebi, fried funnel cake also soaked in syrup yet somehow remains crisp. We also had something else which I didn't know the name, made of similar fried dough to Gulab Jamun (I think) but this one was well doused in condensed milk. What's not to like, huh?

Hauser & Wirth Coppermill Gallery
92 - 108 Cheshire St.
London E2 6EJ

Blink and you'll miss the front door, by the way. Oh, and, if you're not so gastronomically-inclined, the nearer tube station is Shoreditch. According to Robert in the comment section, Shoreditch tube station is closed, so I guess you'd have to go to Aldgate st. and suffer the sweets filled walk through Brick Lane after all. Well, or you could get to Liverpool St. station too I suppose.

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