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Corin Hewitt- “Seed Stage” (2009)

March 10, 2010

Seed Stage


Root vegetables, seeds, earthworms, camera, film, polaroid, laser printer, canning jars, recycled theatrical sets for structure

duration: October 3-January 4, 2009

Four days a week for three months sculptor and photographer spent nine hours in the Whitney in New York City. He constructed a white cube within the white cube gallery of the lobby which he inhabited. He spent his days planting seeds, cooking and preserving vegetables, while also manipulating the foodstuffs by photographing the processes, creating sculptural ‘doubles’ of the food in various states of consumption through casting, and recycling the remains of his artistic work, including some of the photographic prints, as compost for re-seeding. The space had a color palate freize that served as inspiration for the creation of an array of colorful food creations color-matched to the spectrum. His studio/ performance space was primarily closed off from view, only four small apertures allowed visitors to witness his labor. He produced some Polaroids and larges-scale prints that were exhibited on the surrounding walls that, like the canning of  vegetables, preserved some relics and remains of his action. Though, he insists these are as separate artworks, not documentation of the piece. Like the “Still Life” of Sam Taylor-Wood, Seed Stage explored the notions of how art remains, but positioned it more as an ecological becoming rather than a sure death. At the intersection of performance and visual art, Seed Stage created a kind of animate still life that was not so much interactive or relational as regenerative and self-sustaining.

Listen to Corin Hewitt talk about Seed Stage.

See more photos on Flickr.

Carrots Three Ways

Drawing on Hewitt’s re-iterative strategies, this recipe explores carrots in three forms: raw, cooked, and preserved, forming a color-palate for the plate.

Serves 6-8

*note pickled carrots and salad should be made one day ahead

Pickled carrots

  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 3 1/2- by 1/3-inch sticks
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Carrot raisin salad

  • 8 large carrots, peeled, and grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 large beet, peeled, and grated with a cheese grater
  • 1 cup (3 handfuls) raisins
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Salt to taste

Roasted carrots

  • 12 carrots about an inch in diameter
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the pickled carrots: Blanch carrots in a 4-quart nonreactive saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer carrots to a heatproof bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over carrots and cool, uncovered. Chill carrots, covered, at least 1 day for flavors to develop. Pickled carrots may keep in airtight contain in refrigerator for up to one month.

For the carrot salad: Combine all ingredients well, using your fingers to toss and coat the carrots thoroughly. Transfer to dish and refrigerate overnight, allowing the raisins to plump and the carrots and beets to take on flavor.

For the roasted carrots: Preheat oven to 400. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss slices in a bowl with the butter, maple syrup, balsamic, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender. Serve warm.

Plate a petite portion of each carrot dish for each guest in this order: salad, roasted, pickled (raw, cooked, preserved).

Please respond in the comments box to the recipe, the art, and your experience of consuming the artwork.

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