Critical Cooking Show - Ilana Harris-Babou - Nature is Healing

Nature is Healing

Ilana Harris-Babou


Ilana Harris-Babou, Nature is Healing, 2020.


Critical Cooking Show
November 2020

Nature is Healing presents the reflections of a character who has fled Brooklyn for the countryside during the spring of 2020. The protagonist documents her failed attempts at self-sufficiency, her efforts to reproduce the Instagram trends that surfaced in the early days of social distancing in New York City. She tries to grow a garden, keep scallions alive on her windowsill, make sourdough, and keep a journal. Every one of her projects wilts or goes bad. In the end, the solutions she finds for her problems are as absurd as they are instructional. With humor and melancholy, the work explores the pitfalls of avoidance in times of crisis, and the strategies we use to distract ourselves.

Critical Cooking Show is a collaboration between e-flux Architecture and the Istanbul Design Biennial within the context of its fifth edition, Empathy Revisited: Designs for more than one.

Nature & Ecology
Food & Cooking, Covid-19, Withdrawal
Return to Critical Cooking Show

Ilana Harris-Babou’s work is interdisciplinary, spanning sculpture and installation, and grounded in video. She speaks the aspirational language of consumer culture and uses humor as a means to digest painful realities. She has exhibited throughout the US and Europe, with recent survey exhibitions at Kunsthaus Hamburg and the ICA at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Other venues include The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA; SculptureCenter, New York, USA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, USA; The Queens Museum; New York, USA; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark; West Space, Melbourne, Australia; Gallery Miroslav Kraljević, Zagreb, Croatia; and Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, UAE. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA from Yale University.


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