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Daily Archives: October 7, 2013

Warsaw Dispatch: Cultivating an Aesthetic Present

* Ashley David *

Back “home,” I eat with objects layered with a history, of which I am acutely aware—Mother’s and Grandmother’s dishes, a southern heritage of cast iron cooking, an antique dining table passed down. A meal is always, even if I would choose otherwise, a journey back. The immediacy of taste, smell, sight, and sustenance is tempered by narratives I would often just as soon live without. By contrast, here in Warsaw, in my Ikea kitchen, where everything is new and only provisionally mine, I have no relationship to the things around me beyond appreciating their functionality. In the absence of any personal history with them, a fork is a fork, a pan is a pan, and a plate is just a plate. A meal occurs then, in a highly generative space I’ll call the aesthetic present.