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An Edible Family in a Mobile Home

Bobby Baker installation

13 Conder Street, Stepney, London

For this project, Bobby Baker transformed the Acme Housing Association prefab that she was living in into a week-long sculptural installation that housed an edible family of five: mother, father, teenage daughter, son, and baby. 

Assembled from cake and adorned with icing, biscuits and other baked goods, the family members could be encountered in rooms throughout the house: the baby asleep in her cot, the son in the bath, the teenage daughter listening to the radio in her parents’ bedroom, the father slumped in an armchair in front of the television. The mother was the only mobile member of the family who moved throughout the house but was more often found in the kitchen, where visitors could enjoy a cup of tea from her head, or other soft drinks, and have fresh snacks from compartments in her abdomen. Against a backdrop of walls and surfaces covered in newsprint and magazines, and decorated with icing sugar, Baker performed as hostess. She offered food and encouraged visitors to consume, and thereby dismantle, the family.   

Bobby Baker: ‘For the first time I decided to dispense with the problem of deciding what to wear…I would always adopt a more neutral garb, in the form of a woman’s overall. I liked the fact that it was neutral and yet deeply complex in the ways in which it could be read. Also, it was my conscious female riposte to Joseph Beuys’ macho fishing waistcoat and hat.’ 

Funded by Arts Council England

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