This photo chapbook documents a collective performance of forgetting. Over the past century, Americans have shifted the type of knowledge we have about food drastically, and our relationship with eating oscillates between panic and pleasure. These photographs are based on what I call eating amnesia—how our bodies and our social communities have forgotten ingrained habits of how and what to eat, despite a kind of media simulacrum which reinforces anxious, hyper consciousness of food.
The idea of ‘forgetting’ change over time when it comes to food and eating habits over time is articulated In The Civilizing Process by Norbert Elias. Published in 1939, Elias shows how etiquette at the table changes over time in ways that are neither wholly rational nor unconscious. The rules for eating are collective and accumulate over time, often in line with a larger social apparatus, and the average citizen lacks an embodied experience of past etiquette gestures.
Digital offset printed book, 9" x 6", 2016
Jacob Musselman, A.M. Bang, and Samantha Widder.