Scroll through any phone's photo feed and you're bound to find an image of a meal. It's called food porn and love it or hate it, it saturates our social media and is a nod to the ingrained behaviour of a generation who feel the need to document everything. When food is captured as an image, it can create nostalgia and trigger emotion, for both the photographer and the audience. It’s this idea that new zine Food Diary thrives on. Exploring how memory is linked to the things we eat (or have eaten) through still life imagery, it includes work from a range of photographers like Tom Beard, Sandy Kim and Nick Sethi, amongst others.
And what better place to celebrate the launch than New York City – a food lover’s heaven. Tomorrow, artist Antonia Marsh will host the zine’s launch party. “I’ve always loved food pictures, whether beautiful images of the food at Il Pellicano, shot by Juergen Teller, or bleached out menu advertisements in Chinatown or at Delis in NYC,” she says. “I have recently had issues with understanding why they have become so cheesy (excuse the pun) and almost uncouth on social media. They can be really beautiful/ugly/weird/interesting!”
She adds: “There is something so transient about food when it’s prepared; this strange sculpture that takes time to prepare that we immediately consume. I kept discussing with the photographers as I was putting the zine together how we would feel much more strongly seeing a photo of a messy table after a long boozy vacation dinner and remember the people that were there, the food we ate, the conversations we had, rather than a photo of ourselves in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. As such, these images, while their subject matter remains intangible and disappears, themselves become material signifiers of nostalgia.”
Alongside copies of the zine will be an all-you-can-eat buffet and an installation by food artist Young Gun Lee, as well as a short film by Alexandra Marzella – who has been given free reign to respond to the concept of the zine performatively. Ahead of the feast, see a sneak preview of what to expect here.
Food Diary includes work from Laura Allard-Fleischl, Tom Beard, Miyako Bellizzi, Marcel Castenmiller, Sam Hiscox, Sandy Kim, Nick Sethi, Joe Skilton, Matilde Soes Rasmussen, Clayton Douglas Verdoorn