Jura Stool, Emanations
Rayon Roskar Gallery, Brooklyn
For this dispensation, the series of dishes will emanate from a displayed Jura stool.
The stool's intuitive modalities announce a culinary phenomenology; in it we find rest, sturdiness, comfort, and heaviness. From the mountains ("the armpit of Europe") descends this ancient material, carved by a carpenter with nothing more than an axe. These subtle manipulations of a single material are sorcery: with intuition, the path of the blade, and latent pressures in the wood, a stool is formed. A perfect call for dispensation as we too must now cook up immanent potentials of wood.
Moreover, wood is a discrete material with complex properties: it grows, burns, cracks, and splinters. As multiple, it also forms an environment and atmosphere (a wood, the woods). This is the dimension of chaos and fairytale.
Robert Walser, a Swiss writer, relates writing to artisanal procedure in his Eine Art Erzählung:
I am a kind of artisan novelist. A writer of novellas I certainly am not. If I am well-disposed, that's to say, feeling good, I tailor, cobble, weld, plane, knock, hammer, or nail together lines the content of which people understand at once. If you liked, you could call me a writer who goes to work with a lathe. My writing is wallpapering. One or two kindly people venture to think of me as poet, which indulgence and manners allow me to concede. My prose pieces are, to my mind, nothing more nor less than parts of a long, plotless, realistic story. For me, the sketches I produce now and then are shortish or longish chapters of a novel. The novel I am constantly writing is always the same one, and it might be described as a variously sliced-up or torn-apart book of myself.
The writer as a splinter maker. We hope the same for the chef. Dishes as splinters.
We thus become culinary carpenters, chopping, sawing, cutting, planing, sanding, and polishing our dishes.
Potentials of the Menu:
Each entry below forms a station dispensing a modality of wood;
guests are invited to wander this aspen forest as we orchestrate its animating energies.
to spark one's course, brief descriptions with ritual instructions
cocktail of birch, pine, and schnapps, with wild liquorice
visual entries to stimulate one's appetite
bites of splinters
fall mountain snacks
swiss tree nuts processed by woodworking tools, with pineshrooms
swiss alpine plants take the form of a salad
grains and fibers
sprouting grains, almost a porridge
a duet of contrabass and fire, sparked by offerings
driftwood and the murkiness of the lake
lake fish baked in a piece of wood with fall foliage, a sauce of its innards
cocktail of whiskey with sherry, aged in oak, smoked ice
fire, ash, charcoal
the last of summer's vegetables preserved in the fire, young bread
aged beef processed to resemble tree rings, with equally old sauce and emulsified marrow
tête de moine and condiments inspired by the swiss modern grid
careful of the rasp
aged squash processed with wood tools, a tisane of wild grape
sheets of paper
crispy layers of chocolate and milk, shattered