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Tautology (Jacket-Potato)

Added May 28, 2008

by carottesauvage

London, United K...






While I was in the first year of my BA Fine Arts (1998-2001) in Middlesex University-London, I produced a body of worked which I untitled “Jacket Potatoes”.
That year, I was working in the student Union’s cafeteria, preparing and serving meals (including jacket potatoes) to my fellow students. It was not exactly clear to them whether I was a student or a member of staff. Having to juggle with the requirements of my course curriculum and earning money to pay my rent, I used the cafeteria’s kitchen as my studio. Being very much into the Arte-Povera movement and Joseph Beuys motto: ‘Everyone is an artist’ or even Marina Abramovic, I very much liked to have a second look (still today) to what I threw in the bins. The intrinsic qualities of the baked potato skin, malleable while moist, hard but fragile once dry, aroused my imagination and I started to collect them. I sew the baked potato skins together giving it the shape of a jacket inspired by a 19th century Edwardian pattern to make jacket-potatoes. The cultural shock of being in a foreign country (I am French) somehow compelled me to play with a British cultural reference. Each of them measures 11 cm. I was sewing them while the skin was still fresh.
Although my year colleagues had to pay for their meals, they generously participated in my enterprise, donating the most nutritious element of their lunches. After a few months, I completed sixty jackets. I first displayed them on the college gallery floor. In 1998, I won the first prize of the Apthorp Student Prize. I also exhibited them in Oslo, Norway as part of a group show. 30 of them were exhibited in the Chocolate Factory, Haringey- London for a few years.
The other day, I opened the several boxes (they followed me everywhere I moved in London- about 10 times in 10 years-pict4-5-6) in which they are kept from dust and humidity. They show a few sign of decay. I still find them grim but I also vulnerable, easily crushed. Live on jack-pot!

Material Notes

Baked potato skins, lining.




20 Comments Sign in to add a post

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    May 21, 2012, 11.09 AMby Jodi Wade

    How did I never see this project of yours before?? So cool!!! You amaze me my dear.

    1 Reply
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      Jun 13, 2012, 01.11 AMby carottesauvage

      Thank you, dear! I wish I could meet up with you soon!

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    Apr 6, 2012, 04.16 PMby kstyled

    For some reason these remind me of one of my favorite movies, “Silence of the Lambs”…LOL! Do you wish to preserve them? I wonder if you can shellac them to keep them from decaying further or will that ruin them and your whole concept? Thank you for sharing this very interesting project you have created !

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    Nov 26, 2010, 10.57 AMby janul

    I can´t believe I didn´t comment on these… I´ve loved this project for a long time! We have an artist here in Czech Republic, František Skála, who creates similar objects (among other things), i.e. heads out of seaweed… he´s my total hero :).http://www.gef.cz/2009/publikace/94_frantisek_skala.jpg

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      Nov 26, 2010, 11.20 AMby carottesauvage

      Oh thanks! I checked the link but it doesn’t work. In the meantime I made a search image… what a great artist! I will have closer look at his work. I didn’t know him so thanks for the reference!

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    Nov 20, 2010, 11.17 AMby nishavinod2009

    very creative!

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    May 2, 2009, 09.54 AMby seggle

    gross and awesome, love it!

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    Jul 14, 2008, 09.28 PMby emilykate

    Okay, WOW! I’m pretty much speechless. This is amazing. It occurs to me that to prevent any moisture ruining them, you could keep one of those dessicant silicon sachets, like what come with a new pair of shoes, in their box. If you can’t find silicon-sachets, you could get that silicon kitty-litter and sew some of it into a little baggie and keep that in the box. They are so truly amazing, they need to be around for years and years more!

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    Jun 18, 2008, 06.28 AMby kate84

    Oh my god, I love these they are amazing!

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    May 31, 2008, 08.13 AMby marcy harriell | oonaballoona

    these are GORGEOUS. have you ever sold prints of these photos? i would looooove to buy one….

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    May 29, 2008, 01.33 PMby elenasebastopol

    This is just incredible. It is great that you could take advantage of an awful job and make such an amazing thing. I take my hat off to you, lady!

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    May 28, 2008, 04.44 PMby misslavelli

    OMG I have seen your designs in the flesh! I have been rehearsing in the one of the Chocolate Factory studios and saw these little jackets and was thinking how cool they were :) small world!

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    May 28, 2008, 12.36 PMby akwa

    This is stunning! thank you for sharing this experience.

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    May 28, 2008, 10.51 AMby nehmah

    I think I put my post in the wrong place, I do apologize. When I saw the first shot, it immediately crossed my mind that you had recreated an outfit for an Ice-Age jester. Your use of recycled produce is clever and thought-provoking. I don’t think that countries matter where originality comes into the scene. Cordially, Nehmah

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    May 28, 2008, 09.29 AMby plaidrose

    HAHA!!! thats insance. great creativity… you can always make something from anything. It would be sweet if you could make potatoes wear the jackets… then they can take their skin off.. haha these mini jackets make my brain play with the idea. Hats off to you!! and congrats on winning!

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    May 28, 2008, 09.26 AMby luzie

    cool idea! they really are a little grim, but very special and remarkable!

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    May 28, 2008, 09.14 AMby anajan

    one of the most original things i have ever seen. you deserved the first prize!

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    May 28, 2008, 09.06 AMby ledthread

    yeahhhh mama! that’s the coolest thing i’ve seen all day. (granted, i’ve been bookkeeping all morning :) super groovy. thanks for sharing.

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    May 28, 2008, 08.38 AMby jj1

    OMG, I am impressed of your amazing talent! Thank you so much for displaying here too. You deserved the first prize.

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    May 28, 2008, 08.31 AMby OnYourHead

    this is crazy!what a great idea!!big compliments to you!:)

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    May 28, 2008, 08.30 AMby naughtylittlepony

    They are AMAZING. I love the whole idea of it, and the fact that they are, on the one hand; perfect little jackets, and on the other hand; look so good to eat (except for the knowledge that they are from the bin!). I really enjoyed seeing this, thanks!

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    May 28, 2008, 08.27 AMby christine-1

    wow. very cool!

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