<h1 class="page">COUNTER SPACE: KITCHEN SINK DRAMAS</h1> <div id="main" class="kitchen_sink_dramas"> <div id="header"> Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen </div> <div id="cs_nav" class="kitchen_sink_dramas"> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space" class="introduction">Introduction</a> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/the_new_kitchen" class="the_new_kitchen">The New Kitchen</a> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/the_frankfurt_kitchen" class="the_frankfurt_kitchen">The Frankfurt Kitchen</a> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/visions_of_plenty" class="visions_of_plenty">Visions of Plenty</a> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/kitchen_sink_dramas" class="kitchen_sink_dramas">Kitchen Sink Dramas</a> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/blog" class="blog">Blog</a> <br class="clear" /> </div> <div id="content"> <h1 class="double">Kitchen Sink Dramas</h1> <p id="cs_quote"> The cost of bringing the Absolute into the kitchen is to soil it. The pretensions of Good Design require us to bring the noblest concepts of the humanistic tradition into direct confrontation with scrambled egg and soiled nappies&hellip; The big white abstractions must be devalued, ultimately, by these associations with dirt and muck and domestic grottitude.<br /> <span class="cs_quotee">&ndash; Reyner Banham, <i>“Household Godjets,”</i> 1970</span> </p> <p><a href="#highlights"><img src="/images/counter_space/images/4_KSD_header.jpg" width="585" height="120"/></a></p> <p> In lived experience, the modern kitchen is often a far cry from the visions of architects, designers, manufacturers, and advertisers. It is a place of mess and mishap, socialization and sensuality. It evokes a gamut of emotions, fostering creativity and genuine pleasure as well as anxiety—manifested in the extreme as Mageirocophobia, the fear of cooking. It is also, statistics confirm, the most dangerous room in the home.<br /> <br /> As spaces we occupy and animate daily, and which are constantly reflected back to us in popular media, kitchens have since the 1960s become an increasingly rich subject for artistic expression. For Pop artists, the proliferation of branded goods in the kitchen provided a powerful visual currency. However, such visions of plenty were not embraced by all. Artists, activists, and designers began to critique the modern kitchen as emblematic of much that was wrong with modern society, representative of unsustainable levels of waste and imposed social conformity. They questioned modernism’s disregard for social inequality and cultural difference in promoting “universal” ideals. Feminists condemned designs, including the Frankfurt Kitchen, that they felt reinforced the physical and psychological isolation of women in the home. They exposed mythologies that disguised and devalued women’s domestic work with veils of “labor-saving” and “leisure.”<br /> <br /> The term “kitchen sink drama” refers to the postwar British cultural movement in which artists brought into focus the everyday experiences of alienated working-class characters. However, as the varied works in this section demonstrate, the familiar setting of the kitchen is employed by all kinds of artists, taking divergent forms and critical positions. Here kitchens are addressed as dreams, nightmares, and battlegrounds, challenging us to consider larger issues surrounding popular culture, consumerism, gender, and the intimate realities of domestic life.</p> <h2>highlights</h2> <div class="gallery JS_BlogGallery JS_CounterSpaceBlogGallery" id="gallery8256"> <script type="text/javascript">var gallery8256 = {"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/counter-space\/kitchen-sink-dramas\/","images":[{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.1.jpg","width":508,"height":475,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Kichka\’s Breakfast I<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1960<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Daniel Spoerri<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">Swiss, born Romania 1930<\/span><span class=\"object\">Kichka\’s Breakfast I<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1960<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Wood chair hung on wall with board across seat, coffeepot, tumbler, china, eggcups, eggshells, cigarette butts, spoons, tin cans, etc.<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\"><\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Daniel Spoerri \/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York \/ ProLitteris, Switzerland<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":"Spoerri, a self-proclaimed \“paster of found situations,\” made this assemblage from his girlfriend Kichka\’s leftover breakfast while waiting for some visitors. \“I pasted together the morning\’s breakfast, which was still there by chance,\” he has explained, including dishes, utensils, food, and cigarettes mounted on a small chair and wood panel. This is displayed on the wall so it \“defies the laws of gravity\” and \“the view to which we are accustomed.\” Spoerri\’s reliance on chance and his use of found objects reflects a debt to the Dada movement that was shared by other artists of the Nouveau R\éalisme group."},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.2.jpg","width":349,"height":475,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Dropped Cup of Coffee: Preliminary study for \“Image of the Buddha Preaching\” by Frank O\’Hara<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1967<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Claes Oldenburg<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born Sweden 1929<\/span><span class=\"object\">Dropped Cup of Coffee: Preliminary study for \“Image of the Buddha Preaching\” by Frank O\’Hara<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1967<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Pencil, crayon, and wash on paper<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Gift of the artist, 1967<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Claes Oldenburg<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.3.jpg","width":585,"height":438,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Untitled<span class=\"normal\"> from the series<\/span> East 100th Street<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1967<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Bruce Davidson<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born 1933<\/span><span class=\"object\">Untitled<span class=\"normal\"> from the series<\/span> East 100th Street<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1967<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Gelatin silver print<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Purchase, 1973<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Magnum Photos, Inc. and Bruce Davidson<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.6.jpg","width":585,"height":376,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Memphis<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">c. 1972<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">William Eggleston<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born 1939<\/span><span class=\"object\">Memphis<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">c. 1972<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Dye transfer print, printed 1986<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Acquired through the generosity of the John E. Galvin Charitable Trust on behalf of the Crouse Family, 1987<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 William Eggleston<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.7.jpg","width":585,"height":386,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Untitled<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">c. 1972<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">William Eggleston<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born 1939<\/span><span class=\"object\">Untitled<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">c. 1972<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Dye transfer print<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Gift of Caldecot Chubb, 1986<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 William Eggleston<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.8.jpg","width":585,"height":439,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Semiotics of the Kitchen<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1975<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Martha Rosler<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born 1943<\/span><span class=\"object\">Semiotics of the Kitchen<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1975<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Video (black and white, sound) 6:09 min.<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Purchase, 1981<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Martha Rosler. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":"In this performance Rosler takes on the role of an apron-clad housewife and parodies the television cooking demonstrations popularized by Julia Child in the 1960s. Standing in a kitchen, surrounded by refrigerator, table, and stove, she moves through the alphabet from A to Z, assigning a letter to the various tools found in this domestic space. Wielding knives, a nutcracker, and a rolling pin, she warms to her task, her gestures sharply punctuating the rage and frustration of oppressive women\’s roles. Rosler has said of this work, \“I was concerned with something like the notion of \‘language speaking the subject,\’ and with the transformation of the woman herself into a sign in a system of signs that represent a system of food production, a system of harnessed subjectivity.\""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.10.jpg","width":530,"height":475,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Adjustment<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">January 19, 1986<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Lucas Samaras<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born Greece 1936<\/span><span class=\"object\">Adjustment<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">January 19, 1986<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Collage of color instant prints (Polacolor ER)<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Gift of Robert and Gayle Greenhill, 1992<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Lucas Samaras<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.12.jpg","width":585,"height":396,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Auden<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1988<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Philip-Lorca diCorcia<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">American, born 1953<\/span><span class=\"object\">Auden<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1988<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Chromogenic color print<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">Gift of Carol and Arthur Goldberg, 2001<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Philip-Lorca diCorcia, courtesy David Zwirner, New York<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.13.jpg","width":415,"height":475,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">To Make Meringue You Must Beat the Egg <br>Whites Until They Look Like This<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1998<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">David Shrigley<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">British, born 1968<\/span><span class=\"object\">To Make Meringue You Must Beat the Egg Whites Until They Look Like This<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">1998<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Artist\’s book<\/span><span class=\"production\">Publisher: Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen<br>Edition: 2,000<\/span><span class=\"credits\">Anonymously given, 2002<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 David Shrigley<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.14.jpg","width":333,"height":475,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Secrets of Sexy Cooking<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">2002<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">Riiko Sakkinen<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">Finnish, born 1976<\/span><span class=\"object\">Secrets of Sexy Cooking<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">2002<\/span><span class=\"materials\">Watercolor, synthetic polymer paint, felt-tip pen, ballpoint pen, and pencil on paper<\/span><span class=\"production\"><\/span><span class=\"credits\">The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift, 2005<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 Riiko Sakkinen<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""},{"url":"http:\/\/www.moma.org\/explore\/inside_out\/inside_out\/wp-content\/uploads\/2010\/08\/3.15.jpg","width":319,"height":475,"caption":"<div class=\"caption_short\"><span class=\"object\">Untitled<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">2005<\/span> <a href=\"#\" class=\"open\">+<\/a><\/div> <div class=\"caption_long\"> <span class=\"maker\">David Shrigley<\/span><span class=\"maker_details\">British, born 1968<\/span><span class=\"object\">Untitled<\/span><span class=\"object_date\">2005<\/span><span class=\"materials\">One from an untitled portfolio of twenty-two woodcuts<\/span><span class=\"production\">Publisher: Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen<br>Printer: Schaefer Grafiske Vaerksted, Copenhagen<br>Edition: 20<\/span><span class=\"credits\">The Associates Fund, 2006<\/span><span class=\"imagerights\">\© 2010 David Shrigley<\/span><a href=\"#\" class=\"close\">-<\/a><\/div>","description":""}]};</script> <noscript> <div class="wp-caption"> <img src="http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/inside_out/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/3.1.jpg" width="508" height="475" alt="<div class="caption_short"><span class="object">Kichka’s Breakfast I</span><span class="object_date">1960</span> <a href="#" class="open">+</a></div> <div class="caption_long"> <span class="maker">Daniel Spoerri</span><span class="maker_details">Swiss, born Romania 1930</span><span class="object">Kichka’s Breakfast I</span><span class="object_date">1960</span><span class="materials">Wood chair hung on wall with board across seat, coffeepot, tumbler, china, eggcups, eggshells, cigarette butts, spoons, tin cans, etc.</span><span class="production"></span><span class="credits"></span><span class="imagerights">© 2010 Daniel Spoerri / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Switzerland</span><a href="#" class="close">-</a></div>" /> <p class="wp-caption-text"><div class="caption_short"><span class="object">Kichka’s Breakfast I</span><span class="object_date">1960</span> <a href="#" class="open">+</a></div> <div class="caption_long"> <span class="maker">Daniel Spoerri</span><span class="maker_details">Swiss, born Romania 1930</span><span class="object">Kichka’s Breakfast I</span><span class="object_date">1960</span><span class="materials">Wood chair hung on wall with board across seat, coffeepot, tumbler, china, eggcups, eggshells, cigarette butts, spoons, tin cans, etc.</span><span class="production"></span><span class="credits"></span><span class="imagerights">© 2010 Daniel Spoerri / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Switzerland</span><a href="#" class="close">-</a></div></p> </div> </noscript> </div> <h2>videos</h2> <div id="videos"> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td><a href="#video1" rel="videobox"><img src="http://moma.org/images/dynamic_content/media_small/47368.png" width="190" /></a><br /><a href="#video1" rel="videobox">Ximena Cuevas. <i>Devil in the Flesh</i> (excerpt). <span class="date">1998</span></a><br /> <span class="materials">Video (color, sound)<br />5:00 min.<br /> Gift of the Mexican Cultural Institute. &copy; 2010 Ximena Cuevas</span></td> <td><a href="#video2" rel="videobox"><img src="http://moma.org/images/dynamic_content/media_small/47382.png" width="190" /></a><br /><a href="#video2" rel="videobox">Mako Idemitsu. <i>HIDEO, It&#8217;s Me Mama</i> (excerpt). <span class="date">1983</span></a><br /> <span class="materials">Video (color, sound)<br />26:49 min.<br /> Acquired through the generosity of Margot and John Ernst. &copy; 2010 Mako Idemitsu. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York</span> </td> <td><a href="#video3" rel="videobox"><img src="http://moma.org/images/dynamic_content/media_small/47396.png" width="190" /></a><br /><a href="#video3" rel="videobox">Martha Rosler. <i>Semiotics of the Kitchen</i> (excerpt). <span class="date">1975</span></a><br /> <span class="materials">Video (black and white, sound)<br />6:09 min.<br /> Purchase. &copy; 2010 Martha Rosler. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York</span> </td> </tr> </tr> </tr> <td></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <div id="video1" class="hidden"> <a href="http://moma.org/video_file/video_file/806/00_devil_in_the_flesh-web.flv" class="asset">Ximena Cuevas. <i>Devil in the Flesh</i> (excerpt). 1998</a><br /> <a href="http://moma.org/images/dynamic_content/media_normal/47368.png" class="image">Ximena Cuevas. <i>Devil in the Flesh</i> (excerpt). 1998</a> </div> <div id="video2" class="hidden"> <a href="http://moma.org/video_file/video_file/808/00_Takemitsu-web.flv" class="asset">Mako Idemitsu. <i>HIDEO, It&#8217;s Me Mama</i> (excerpt). 1983</a><br /> <a href="http://moma.org/images/dynamic_content/media_normal/47382.png" class="image">Mako Idemitsu. <i>HIDEO, It&#8217;s Me Mama</i> (excerpt). 1983</a> </div> <div id="video3" class="hidden"> <a href="http://moma.org/video_file/video_file/807/00_semiotics_of_the_kitchen-web.flv" class="asset">Martha Rosler. <i>Semiotics of the Kitchen</i> (excerpt). 1975</a><br /> <a href="http://moma.org/images/dynamic_content/media_normal/47396.png" class="image">Martha Rosler. <i>Semiotics of the Kitchen</i> (excerpt). 1975</a> </div> </div> <div id="sidebar"> <div id="recentblogs"> <h3>recent blog posts</h3> <ul> <li> <small>April 28, 2011</small> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/blog/hidden-kitchens">Hidden Kitchens</a> </li> <li> <small>March 2, 2011</small> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/blog/home-is-where-the-art-is">Home Is Where the Art Is</a> </li> <li> <small>February 21, 2011</small> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/blog/today-a-live-streaming-walkthrough-of-the-counter-space-exhibition">Today: A Live-Streaming Walkthrough of the <i>Counter Space</i> Exhibition</a> </li> <li> <small>February 15, 2011</small> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/blog/eat-drink-read-moma">Eat, Drink, (Read!) MoMA</a> </li> <li> <small>December 23, 2010</small> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/blog/kitchen-culture-in-motion">Kitchen Culture, In Motion</a> </li> </ul> </div> <div id="collection"><a href="http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?SHR&tag=CounterSpace">view selected works<br>in the online collection</a></div> <div id="links"> <ul> <li><a href="http://store.moma.org/museum/moma/ProductDisplay_Counter%20Space:%20Design%20and%20the%20Modern%20Kitchen%20%2528HC%2529_10451_10001_105946_-1_26683_11492_105961?cm_mmc=MoMA-_-Other-_-Subsites-_-Counter+Space">publication</a></li> <li> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/resources">resources</a></li> <li> <a href="/interactives/exhibitions/2010/counter_space/credits">credits</a></li> <li><a href="http://moma.org/wp/inside_out/category/exhibitions/current/counter-space/feed/">rss</a></li> </div> <div id="events"> <h3>related events</h3> <div class="JS_Widget"> <a href="/widgets/calendar/counter_space/list/10000" rel=""></a> </div> </div> <div style="clear:both;"></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> </div>