Following on from my little gripe about inappropriate school reading matter, this weekend my daughter (aged five and a half) top-trumped the Oxford Reading Tree borefest that was ‘Making a Book’, by bringing home ‘Food as Art’. Before I go on, can I just stress this is NOT a disingenuous attempt to illustrate how brilliant at reading my daughter is, like those mumsnet posts that read, ‘My son’s just started Reception and he’s on level 11. Is this normal?’. And to which I always want to post back, ‘No! What a freak!’ My daughter is NOT a particularly good reader, she’s still struggling with the whole thing, which is entirely the point of this whinge.
I’m going to quote from ‘Food as Art’:
In this photograph a person is sitting in a room, wearing a blue dress. But the room and the person are made of raw burger meat! The only thing in the photograph not made of meat is the blue dress.’
Hang on a minute while I grab a tissue to stem the bleeding from my daughter’s eyes. That’s better, let’s turn the page…
This photograph shows people knee deep in popcorn. The figures are huddled around a campfire as a popcorn blizzard swirls around them.’
The book also features a cow made from butter, a proferiterole made from metal, a giant burger bun made from foam rubber, and a picture of a metal apple core three metres high. This was probably the perfect opportunity for me to discuss with my daughter just what is meant by ‘art’, and how materials can be played with to create different visual effects. But she needed a wee-wee and then afterwards she wanted to watch Dora the Explorer, so I let it lie. I’ll raise the issue next time, after ‘Biff, Chip and Kipper Visit White Cube and Discuss Iconoclastic Sculpture with Jake and Dinos Chapman.’ For fxxxs sake.