Daniel George: MarrowPast
Marrow examines the culinary and cultural heritage of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These stereotypical recipes capture the values, cultures, and traditions of a particular people, living in a specific region in the Western United States, sometimes dubbed the “Mormon Corridor” or (in The Atlantic) the “Jell-O Belt.” Here, George recreates and photographs dishes from Ward (the name of a congregation) Cookbooks showing food functioning as folk art.
Despite the inherent thrift of highly processed pantry-staple ingredients, the brightly colored collective dishes, set within particularly idiosyncratic Mormon architectural places, harken back to the 1960s, Relief Society meetings (the LDS women’s organization), and emphasize homemaking, resourcefulness, self-reliance, and creativity in service of usefulness, practicality, and the larger community. A la Jared Hess’s Napoleon Dynamite or filmmaker Wes Anderson’s use of quirky overhead shots, the dishes—unique, eccentric, and full of distinct personality—stand in for the unseen and invisible hands that produced them.