Selected images and video footage of a food performance presented as part of Lorenzo's Bread Circus at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, April 2007.
ON BREAD PERFORMANCE:
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in a friendly relationship with lactobacillus bacteria, grows wild on the countertop in its habitat of flour and water. The yeast labors, the bacteria flavors, and the dough that results bakes into rich, nutritious bread on the hearth. But the microscopic animals whose exhalations perform the atlas task of lifting and stretching the glutenous strands of bread dough are not the only ones who toil for homemade bread.
The advent of store-bought bread was part of the kitchen revolution that made the world of outside work a possibility for previously bread-bound American homemakers. Any nostalgia for the flavor and soul-satisfaction in homemade bread must also acknowledge the sacrifice and toil of the foremothers that made it in farm-family-sized batches every week for generations.
An intermediary food innovation that hastened women's impending liberation from the hearth was prepared, packaged, uniform bread yeast. Suddenly, you could make in less than an hour what before you had to tend to and nurture for days: bread starter, or, in the language of baking,
"baum," or "mother."