Cooking Sections: The Empire Remains Shop, Delfina Foundation offsite exhibition, 2016. Photos: Tim Bowditch

Dates: 4 August – 6 November 2016
Venue: 93 Baker Street, Marylebone
Entry: Free

As part of The Politics of Food programme of events, The Empire Remains Shop, opening on 4 August 2016, is a dynamic and interactive installation conceived as a storefront display with event spaces in the heart of Marylebone, acting as a platform to discuss the global circulation of food and consumer choices. The project is created by Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe), a London-based independent duo of spatial practitioners that explore the systems that organize the world through food.

The concept originates from Empire Shops, envisioned in the 1920s by the Empire Marketing Board to promote food trade between Britain and its overseas territories. While those shops were never realized, this installation is their contemporary successor. The window display will be complemented with a series of free public events including talks, screenings, meals and performances that will expand on the issues being addressed in the display work.


4 August 2016, 18:00 – 21:00

Opening Event

4 August – 6 November 2016
The Forest Does Not Employ Me Any More
Forager Collective & Cooking Sections, 2016

A new collaboration between the Lantana Crafts Centre at MM Hills, Forager Collective and Cooking Sections. The project will develop new Lantana furniture pieces that take advantage of the flexibility and durability of Lantana to improve material understanding of this otherwise agriculturally threatening colonial import.

For more information, click here.

4 – 13 August 2016, 15:00 – 17:00
(bush) Tea Services
Annalee Davis, 2016

Literally digging into the ground of her family property in Barbados, Annalee Davis mines family archives to unpack the plantation, and its multi-layered history. (bush) Tea Services incorporates found porcelain shards from tea sets and cheap crockery unearthed from around the yard and surrounding fields of the former plantation and makes new tea cups, from which she serves collected from the fields of the former sugarcane plantation.

For more information, click here.

5 August 2016, 16:00 – 17:30
The Colloquy: Wild Plants as Active Agents in the Process of Decolonisation
Annalee Davis & guests

Artist Annalee Davis will speak about the resurgent diversity of wild plants in former sugarcane fields as a decolonial and botanical act of subversion, defying centuries-old agrarian borders. In this way, abandoned sugarcane fields or rab lands may be seen as emerging botanical archives asserting themselves against an historically imperial landscape and the centuries-long imposition of a single crop, sugarcane.

For more information, click here.

4 August – 6 November 2016
Hunger, A Man-Made Object – Speculation
Asunción Molinos, 2016

A display of work by Spanish artist and former Delfina Foundation resident, Asunción Molinos.

For more information, click here.

4 August – 6 November 2016
Speculations on Disappearance
Cooking Sections, 2016

A sound installation that explores the phenomenon of Habitat banking, which speculates on the restoration of damaged habitats; when developers modify a landscape, they then commit to paying for the restoration of an equivalent amount of the same habitat elsewhere. As a result, certian lesser-known species have become attractive for investment institutions dealing with the preservation of ecology.

For more information, click here.

4 August – 6 November 2016
Today We Are Green
Cooking Sections, 2015

A rum and ethanol fountain alternately supplies one of these two alcohols according to that day’s oil price on the NASDAQ stock market. As Caribbean nations try to envision an economic future for the decline in their sugar crop and local molasses production, biofuel produced out of sugarcane seems to be a practical option. Whenever oil prices are high, ethanol is in demand, yet when they drop oil again becomes the default.

For more information, click here.

19 August 2016, 18:00
Famished Lives and the Necropolitics of Hunger
Natasha Ginwala

A lecture-presentation charting the haunting legacies of the Bengal Famine from 1943-44, which resulted in mass starvation and economic drain, and further demonstrated British imperial tyranny during World War II.

For more information, click here.

16 – 27 August 2016, 12:00 – 18:00
The ‘Next “Invasive” Is “Native”’
Cooking Sections, 2016

20 August 18:00, Performance

Since the 1950s, both human and non-human migratory discourses have increasingly used the figure of the ‘non-native’ or the ‘alien’ as a negative addition to ‘native’ contexts. The ‘Next “Invasive” Is “Native”’ re-thinks the ‘alien’ as an entity that actually constructs a new reality and brings a valuable hybridisation using ice cream as a platform to put ‘invasive’ species at the forefront of conviviality.

For more information, click here.

24 August 2016, 20:00
21 September 2016, 19:30
13 October 2016, 19:30

Under The Sea There Is A Hole
Cooking Sections, 2015

A performative dinner that responds to the emerging sinkholes around the Dead Sea resulting from the extraction of fertilisers from the evaporation ponds run by the Dead Sea Works in Israel and the Arab Potash Company in Jordan that have been operating since the time of the British Mandate. This event considers a diet based on new climatic seasons. Different from the now obsolete cycle of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, it reacts to drought, desertification, water pollution, flash floods, and invasive species.

For more information, click here.

27 August 2016, at low tide
Shrimping After Working Conditions
FRAUD, 2016
Leigh-On-Sea (Meeting point by the sea will be provided to participants)

Shrimping After Working Conditions explores what it means to die in a neoliberal world. From the social death in contemporary forms of life subjugation, to the commercial extinction of depleted brown shrimp (Crangon crangon), no longer profitable to harvest, we explore death and erasure as modes of production. Weather permitting, please join us netting for the last shrimps of the Thames Estuary. Nets and wellies provided.

For more information, click here.

31 August – 10 September 2016
55 Gallon
Blue Curry, 2016

55 Gallon creates a new typological hybrid: Blue Curry’s all-in-one barbecue and steel drum ensemble takes tourist clichés of cultural artifacts to explore how their combination, and their characteristic heat and sound, distort each other into something else.

For more information, click here.

14 – 28 September 2016
The Right Of Way
Joni Taylor (New Landscapes Institute)

The Right Of Way is a continuation of the New Landscapes Institute’s investigations into the transformation of cultural routes and trails. In Australia, public lands are referred to as Crown Land, a communal asset that is being rapidly sold off. The UK ‘Right of Way’ laws have been central to the movement of food and produce, yet these commons serve to exclude as much as they seek to provide. The Right of Way will use this opportunity to explore how battles for these rights are still being fought and what new uses these landscapes can offer.

There will be a horseback ride on UK bridleways on Saturday 3 September, more details to be announced.

For more information, click here.

27 September – 11 October 2016
Midnight Masala
Shahmen Suku/Radha La Bia, 2016

This project explores the spatial form of Little India in Singapore as a product global trade, where the invisible boundaries between castes and classes of citizens become apparent in the way both spices and sex are traded. Radha La Bia, the alter ego of artist Shahmen Suku, embarks on adventures of the palate to recount the limits of inter-racial bi-citizen sexual escapades.

For more information, click here.

25 October – 6 November 2016
An Old World In a Former New World
Cooking Sections, 2016

As a byproduct of the recent economic crises in temperate latitudes, affordable retirement in the US and Europe is becoming financially uncertain for many. Pensioners are venturing into resettling in anglophone, francophone, lusophone, and hispanophone former colonies seeking a better quality of life. Nations that in the past provided fertile land to harvest ‘exotic’ produce for the metropoles, are today hosting a frenetic wave of sun-seeking migrants; the Old World in the former New World.

For more information, click here.

30 October – 6 November 2016
Empire Remains Christmas Pudding
Cooking Sections, 2013 – present

Part of the Empire Marketing Board propaganda campaign, the original recipe for the Empire Christmas Pudding was created in 1928 by George V’s head cook, Mr Cedard, with Their Majesties’ Gracious Consent. It was made up of ingredients from different British overseas territories to promote the consumption of colonial goods. More than a recipe for a combining 17 different ingredients, the recipe is a map of 17 colonial geographies.

For more information, click here.


The Empire Remains Shop is made possible with the generous support of Nicoletta Fiorucci; OutsetArts Council EnglandAcción Cultural Española (AC/E)Stanley Picker GalleryKingston UniversityThe Keir Foundation; and a number of individuals who wish to remain anonymous.


Related Pages

Cooking Sections: The Empire Remains Shop

On their public installation and programme considering the global circulation of food


Cooking Sections

London: 02/02/2014 — 06/04/2014

The Politics of Food

Interrogating cultures of food and its production, consumption and distribution


Venice Biennale: Performance Programme, Part II

22/11/2019 — 24/11/2019