Cookbook, 2013
Single channel video, projection or monitor, color, sound, 12.28 min.
Polish OV
Ed. of 3 + 1 AP + 1 EP

“Cookbook” is part of a new series of videos, outcome of workshops at the Areszt Śledczy w Warszawie-Grochowie, a women’s prison on the outskirts of Warsaw. For this video, two professional chefs cook with a group of inmates, using fine food for the improvised dishes. A communal dinner was the grand finale of the session. In contrast to this, the cooking in the large institutional kitchen and the subsequent serving to the individual cells was filmed. 
The workshops were part of “Art in the Castle”, a project initiated by the Fundacja Dom Kultury, the House of Culture Foundation in Warsaw that engages in the cultural education of individuals and groups with limited or no access to culture and society. The inmates participating in the workshops were in the so-called “Castle”, the closed unit of the prison. Some of them are hardened criminals, others small-time criminals but recidivists. All of them spend their days locked in control units. Conditions of daily life are very basic - food, cosmetics and personal belongings are highly restricted. Zmijewski’s workshops were based on the idea of providing something inaccessible for the inmates - beauty, taste, creative authorship. Subordinate needs that co-determine the human condition. “The work is about lack of freedom in general”, says the artist.

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