MUSH (2016, Kelly Broich with Eli Elliott. Photographed and Post by Brad Kaup. 22min.)
Invoking a combination of the pretentious foodie culture with the cheap food reality that many Americans rely on, Kelly Broich’s latest piece takes the form of a cooking show where calories are simply separated between “solids” and “liquids”. This is apropos to the state of quick food culture where cheap pre-packaged meals from the dollar store hardly resemble real food, but rather are simply solid forms glued together with fillers and gums, marketed as “meals” be it a waffle and sausage breakfast or a turkey and tater tot dinner. It all goes down the same chute so why not just combine it all together and treat your taste buds to everything that the visually enticing box covers promise?
It happens to be a coincidence that the latest documentary buzz is the recently released film “City of Gold” where Los Angeles food writer Jonathon Gold goes around L.A. in search of “the next great, cheap, aromatic meal.” The Chicago Tribune writes: “The selling points here, as with any food documentaries, are the many close-ups of glorious-looking food bubbling on a stove.”
With MUSH we get the real deal of cheap food, which is “bubbling” in the bowls as Chef Pink Face (Broich) and his assistant Roy (Eli Elliott) mash the solids together with large bricks they find on the ground in the dilapidated shed where the performance takes place.
The dish is equally “aromatic” as the viewer visualizes the stench created as Roy slurps up samples from the resulted meal which is a combination of frozen pizza, waffles, Gatorade, clam chowder, chocolate milk, pork beans, whip cream, among other things.
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