Using gloves, a knife is breathed on and laid.
An ingredient is brushed, Red.
As, emerging from subterranea, vision flickers, it adjusts. A hand moves over, a greasy humming escalator banister, mirroring the constant checking of the underside of a table, the edge of the plate. It seems grubby, dusty at least, give it another wipe.
A fork is set, exactly 24cm across.
An ingredient is frothed, White.
Rituals of a journey seem to exact their will, like autopilot, mechanised and cold. There are systems, there are five intersections. An endless cycle, the spills of electric noise mingle with sound of the pan resting on the side. Very little resting time.
A spoon is placed, perpendicular.
Head resting on a small wooden pillow.
An ingredient is tossed, Green.
The back patting, shoulder rubbing din. It rings in the ears, as does the city itself, the shouts from the kitchen. Leaning in further, brushing a stiff shirt, the sound not too dissimilar to that of the hum of machina. Always wondered how this place functions. Glasses are held up as the linoleum is wiped, set down elsewhere. Nuts, nuts that you’ll break your teeth on.
With a precision turn, the napkin is folded.
An ingredient is poured, Yellow
There is something of this server, as he curtails, as he careers towards me, it reminds me of an experience abroad, some European eatery, lack lustre pomp and regalia. The movement is peculiar in its regularity, farcical maybe, present but distant, never making eye contact. My, does he speak fast. A return to the pass, the silver bell, bashed repeatedly, laid on top of the pass. Stolen glimpses into the kitchen of shelving and mise en place and steam. We all know what is happening, the big reveal, the grand depart, the cloche removed.
A wine glass accidentally bumps against its dry counterpart, before being set, clink.
Its red lipsticked edge noticeable.
A lip is bitten and an ingredient is scattered, Black.
So flippant and repetitive this pilgrimage is. Ouroboros comes to mind; its sibilance is interwoven into the very fabric. Back, forth, back, forth, this doesn’t feel like the right spot. We should go elsewhere, al fresco, should have created our own picnic. The rigmaroles always seem to feel the same; everyone is always a critic. Nothing touches as real in here, allusional and delusional. A veneer, defunct, inedible yet flavourful. There is something alchemic astir.
Someone walks over,
“sorry, the next available table is in 45,
would you like to put down.”
UNDER THE CLOCHE, Or You Always Catch Me Napkin
A collaboration with George Little
Bosse And Baum Gallery, Peckham, London.
April 10th to May 10th, 2015
Photos: Oskar Proctor