Martha Rosler – Semiotics of the Kitchen 1975


My first reactions with this work….the kitchen is a violent place, and also the site of frustration and rage.

Which I can relate to! At this point in my life, I use the kitchen to make food for my children, this is not really something I take pleasure in, any more. I have many other things I’d rather be doing, and need to be doing, instead of planning what to make, buying the food, the time to cook and prepare (it had better be healthy food, not instant and not processed) clean up, after the cooking, and after the eating, day in day out….then of course I am grateful that I can source good food to feed my children, I have a space to cook and serve the food.

I also started to think about how cooking shows are so popular now, (Masterchef anyone?) and some food movements that have come into the mainstream, at least for the middleclass. Like the Wholefoods movement, Organic food and many variations of healthy or ethical diets, veganism, vegetarianism, fair trade foods, raw, plant based, low carbs, low fats, paleo etc. and how pressure or desire to make ‘good choices’ in the kitchen and all the time, effort, energy and research those choices take may be another way of distracting and trapping women in this space, figurative or literal.

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