Construction/Demolition/Salad speaks to the perishable nature of hotels in social and political urban development structures.
“Construction/Demolition/Salad” juxtaposes archival imagery from the construction and demolition of hotels with photographs and videos of salads being prepared and presented. The project speaks to the perishable nature of hotels in social and political urban development. Contemporary images of salads parallel the life cycles of hotel buildings themselves: architecturally, as products of labor, as façades of opulence and conspicuous consumption, and as impermanent objects.
This project was inspired by a chance encounter in an archive. While researching the life cycles of hotel buildings, we happened on an album of architectural photographs documenting the construction of the Edgewater Beach Hotel. That album happened to be resting under another volume—a 1928 salad cookbook written by the chef from the same hotel. The pairing laid bare uncanny symmetries: from the sculptural natures of building and salad, to the rendering of taste, character, and consumption patterns.
There was also an unmooring of scale: the constructions were difficult to measure, absent of the people who created their internal armatures and external facades, whether at the scale of a butter knife or 30-story building.
In an open-ended project, we are composing the "salad" element of the triptychs by recreating and adapting hotel restaurant salads. For the first of these shoots, we invited artists to draw new connections between the form and metaphors of the salad and the hotel. The resulting photographs and videos reference themes from demolition to sex work to the invisibility of hotel labor.
The initial shoot included salads by Daniel Borzutzky, Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera, Sarah Fox, Jamie Hayes, Cara Megan Lewis, Damon Locks, Lisa Pangbon, and Macon Reed.