Katie Latona: The ‘Eat My Problems’
Taking the form of a traditional “bake sale,” this project presents a group of anonymous problems, baked into cookies, that are available for exchange with the viewer. To receive a cookie, the viewer (now participant) must submit one of his or her own problems, by writing it down on the card provided, and depositing it into the box. The submitted problems will then be baked into the next batch of cookies, which will be replenished throughout the exhibition.
At its most basic level, the “bake sale” sees a cookie traded for our participation in the project. The cookie is “free” in that no money changes hands, but it does ask something of us: that we engage with the project. We also exchange our problem for someone else’s; we are able to relieve ourselves of a burden, whether mundane (“netflix addiction”) or deeply personal (“premature ovarian failure”), only to take on another’s. We are sharing the load.
Is one problem worth more than another? Is one cookie less enticing because of what is stamped into it? Is it fair to exchange a “strange groin lump” problem for the “flat bike tire” cookie? Is that considered a bargain? What is the value of my labor, as the artist and baker?