O-Cucumber where art though?
On the 15th of June 1988 the European Commission passed a law guaranteeing the citizens of Europe access to quality food, thereby bringing an end to centuries of dietary abuse by peasants and salesmen over helpless consumers. The law was given the little revealing title 1677/88, and among many other things stipulated the standards ofcucumbers. In order for a cucumber to be legally sold it was supposed to be:
-sound; produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded
-fresh in appearance
-clean, practically free from any visible foreign matter
-practically free from pests
-practically free from damage caused by pests
-free of bitter taste
-free of abnormal external moisture
-free of foreign smell and/or taste
-be well shaped and practically straight (maximum height of the arc: 10mm per 10cm of length of the cucumber)
-be free of defects, including all deformations and particularly those caused by seed formation.
-500g or more must be not less than 30cm long
-between 250g and 500g must be not less than 25cm long
On the 25th of May 2014 the Swedish feminist party "Feministiskt Initiativ" gained 5,3% of the votes in the elections for the European Parliament, thereby becoming the first feminist party in the elected transnational assembly. "Feministiskt Initiativ" had been established ten years earlier after party leader Gudrun Schyman held a passionate speech against oppression:
"Discrimination and indignity look different depending on where we are. But it is the same norm, the same structure, the same pattern that repeats itself, be it in Afghanistan under the Taliban or in Sweden.
In order to achieve real change, it is necessary for us women to revolt against the dominant order. And for you men to relinquish your privileges and also revolt against the order by refusing to abide by the impoverished gender-roles that traditional society gives you."
The results of the European elections were considered a water-shed moment for the possibility of organised political change. However, in the subsequent national elections in Sweden, the feminist party failed to pass the necessary 4% barrier to gain a seat in Swedish parliament. In later studies it was revealed that most of the 200 000 votes that the party had received, had in fact been cast at the small island of Södermalm in central Stockholm.
In the summer of 2015, a café on the island of Södermalm had the following hand-written text displayed on its bathroom door.
Reasons why cucumbers are better than men:
-cucumbers stay hard for a week
-cucumbers never suffer from performance anxiety
-you can decide for yourself how many cucumbers you want
-cucumbers won’t ask how many others you have tasted before
-cucumbers will never tell what you have tried to do to them
-cucumbers don’t taste
-cucumbers don’t buy unnecessarily expensive stuff for themselves
-cucumbers will not be shocked to find other cucumbers in your home
-if you think that a cucumber is bad you can always get another one
-a cucumber will not be offended if you compare it with your girlfriends cucumber
-a cucumber will never get the idea that you should swallow it whole
-you can fondle a cucumber before taking it home
-cucumbers don’t play golf
-cucumbers don’t love football more than they love you
-cucumbers let you decide if they should spend the night or not
-cucumbers always contain more water than alcohol
-cucumbers don’t talk about issues that they don’t understand
-cucumbers don’t drool over you while you sleep
-cucumbers don’t think that the Star Wars movies are the best that has ever been done
-cucumbers are not offended by this list
According to EU regulations cucumbers must furthermore be clean, in protective packaging, straight and be a minimum of 25 cm in length.
Installation shots by Ksenia Yurkova
9 plaster objects, oil on canvas 50X50 cm, EU cucmber in plastic packaging, velvet pillow;