L.A. Raeven

Location: New York - 2005


Kelly is a personage which exists in a lot of girls nowadays. Kelly lives in Manhattan and is scared to death that somebody will recognize her and see how she behaves in her daily life. Kelly is totally obsessed with controlling everything she eats. She is alone and lives in her own world where only appearance, food, and collies exist. Kelly can’t handle the great number of food choices in Manhattan, which makes her life a living hell. Each day she collects free food samples, not to try in the shop, but rather ro take home with her. She doesn’t feel comfortable eating with other people around, and taking food samples liberates her from thinking about what to eat.

The shops make the decisions for her so she doesn’t have to feel guilty about choosing the wrong thing. She never spends money on food, but that doesn’t mean she is not selective. She only wants the best quality and most stylish food and goes to supermarkets and delicatessens where only the rich, succesful, and sophisticated people go. She doesn’t belong to this elite group, but by imitating their eating habits and food choices she seems one of them. She particularly imitates models in the choice of food. Every day she visits numerous shops to collect food as if she has nothing else to do. At home she nibbles on the collected samples, which are no longer as attractive as when she took them. Problems such as isolation, obsession, and striving after perfecting her appearance are crucial in her world. The voice-over (which comes from Kelly’s diary) gives the viewer a clear picture how vulnerable, lonely girls like Kelly becomes a victim of New York’s food marketing strategies.

This installation is made possible by the Mondriaan Fonds