90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, September 1, 2011

Making Oreos Into Art– And Social Commentary

Intricate Victorian-style cameo portraits carved out of Oreo cream, old-fashioned hand-cross-stitched Chex cereal, and elaborate bread embroidery are just some of the pieces that make up artist Judith Klausner’s new series “From Scratch.”

Klausner carves the cameos directly on the filling of open-face Oreo cookies using toothpicks for the outlines and sewing pins for the finer details of the hairstyles and eyes.

For her Chex cross-stitch pieces, Judith had to experiment with the various types of Chex cereal to see which piece would work the best. The rice chex are too fragile and the wheat chex were too small, but the corn chex had the correct structural integrity to allow her to weave written messages onto the cereal.

In using these food products, Judith Klausner hopes to challenge the mindset that things were “better back when,” for instance, before corn syrup and 15-letter preservatives.

In her series “From Scratch” Klausner tries to draw attention to the little-discussed benefits of the rise of processed food. She argues that processed foods let women spend less time cooking from scratch and freed them up to a world of new choices.

“When you have someone in every household whose dedicated full-time job whether they liked it or not was to cook everything from scratch– yes, you’re going to have everything made at home,” she told Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “But that means that women didn’t have choices, and I think we’re in a much better position now.”

That’s not to say that Klausner is against home cooking or eating local.  She says she doesn’t want eating local to be cast as a moral choice between good and evil.  Because local food is often more expensive, Klausner says the choice to eat it has more to do with class than morals.

“Ideally we should work towards having a future where fresh and local food isn’t more expensive and everyone can afford it,” she said. ” But I think right now having it cast entirely as a moral question really glosses over the issue of class that’s involved.”

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://twitter.com/billionairebrod Nicole Dye-Anderson

    Absolutely AMAZING!

  • http://twitter.com/billionairebrod Nicole Dye-Anderson

    Brilliant!

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t thinking about one’s career as a choice and not a necessary evil to survive as much as a class issue as food choice? 

  • Jan

    I have a difficult time swallowing the belief that women are better off in today’s world because they now have “choices.” I know many well educated young women who would love to have the “choice” to stay home and raise their families, but they can’t afford to; I would love to have  the “choice” to not be a working grandmother, trying to cram into a two-day weekend the pleasure of family and accomplishment of household chores, but I can’t afford to. Sometimes I stop and wonder if I would prefer to be enslaved by my computer and paycheck, or by my family that is so important; but I don’t wonder for very long, because I don’t really have a choice. I would dare say that women’s freedom of choice has cost society dearly, just take a long, hard look around you when you’re shopping in a mall, or talk to a public school teacher about their students. “You’ve come a long way, baby” — I don’t think so.

    • CC

      I thought this was an amazing story – short but gave you a lot to think about from just a little frosting sculpture.  

      We can choose, we all can choose.  We make a decisions to have things, but we can all survive with less.  Don’t be imprisoned by your golden handcuffs.  Women today can make the same choices men have always been making because of brave women who demanded more.  If you are not happy being a working grandmother, or mother or father fro that matter than find something that makes you happy.  Many women, like myself, love their jobs and their families at the same time.  I am a high school teacher and I still do quality activities and play with my kiddos every day. I craft, cook from scratch, plant a garden and workout like crazy, I even clean my own house – I just never sit around and thank god I am not expected to!  Oh yeah and neither do any of my smart friends and family!  I love studying the ways of the past but I would never want to go back!
      Another point to consider because of women’s ability to choose careers today our children have a closer relationship with their father because all of the burden to bring home the bacon is not on their shoulders.  

  • Alfred K

    As the country heads rapidly down the tank, this is what people are concerned with. Oreos as art.
    Get it together people. The party is over.

    • http://twitter.com/JuliaCavallaro Julia Cavallaro

      What “party” are you referring to? Art is *even more* important in times of national crisis, not less.

  • Keith

    I want to respond to Alfred K’s post,

    The post states a problem (the country heads rapidly down the tank) and the implication is that art can not/is not, a cure. The implication is valid.  However art does not function as a remedy to societal ills. The potenacy of art is that value is found, not in what good it does to us, but rather a good, in and of itself.  As long as the country is a society consisting of a pepole that can value art surely these people  are lifted up. It is these people who have the sensiblity to preserve the country from going down .

    Note:from Joli Jensen’s book, Is Art Good For Us

    Klausner’s work is wonderous, fascinating and culturally enriching. It does not need to have the aim the righting politcal wrongs. Perhaps that’s what makes her work valuable.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 25 Comment

Ebola Epidemic Strikes Top Health Worker

NPR's Jason Beaubien just returned from Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia is suffering from the worst ever Ebola outbreak.

July 25 Comment

ER Physician Documents ‘Lost Underground’ Of WWI

Soldiers carved artwork into the walls of vast quarry systems beneath the trenches that defined the war.

July 24 7 Comments

Veterans Say Suicide Is Their Top Concern

That's according to a survey released today by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

July 24 6 Comments

Modern-Day Amelia Earhart Circumnavigates The Globe

The famous pilot's namesake has became the youngest woman to fly a single-engine aircraft around the world.