“I’ll probably die and come back a PICKLE!”

Le Cornichon d’or from the CHANEL SHOPPING CENTER in the Grand Palais, Paris

My love life and my love for pickles seem often to be on a collision course. “You’ll probably die and come back a pickle,” she once yelled. Even O, with whom I’ve managed to maintain a strong friendship, once laughed snidely, “Did you know you smell like pickles when you sweat?” Little did the girlfriend in question know that when she referred to a pickle disparagingly in my presence, it already spelled the end.

I love pickles. They are a distilled taxonomy of nations’ approach to cuisine: the French cornichons are delicate and petite with their mustard seeds and proprietary plastic trays that fish them out of the brine, while the bloated American deli pickles bob around in tasty, albeit neon yellow, brine. The Koreans have their kim-chi, the Brits their sad onions, and the Germans their heretic sweet pickles (NB: the only rule in pickling is to err on the side of salty or sour, not sweet). No one, however, matches the pickling prowess of the Russians. Here in Moscow, I am in pickle paradise. Every Sunday I visit the Dorogomilovsky market where a pyramid of stacked pickles offers tomatoes, various mushrooms, cucumbers with different degrees of pickledom, and garlic scrapes. “To be in a pickle” is an English idiom used to describe being in an uncomfortable position.

If only…

Dorogomilovsky market

 

Payam Sharifi 2

Payam Sharifi is an artist, essayist, and contributing editor of 032c.


East 1Moscow 2
Pickles

Published in

Issue #14 — Winter 2007/2008Cecil Balmond

“Complexity is irreducible—it is not reductionist. And this is the conviction I have and it has grown in all my work—you embrace it full on,” states structural engineer CECIL BALMOND in our 40-page cover story on him and the engineering firm he heads, ARUP, photographed by WOLFGANG TILLMANS.  

Cecil Balmond is a structural engineer, author, and man of ideas; he is deputy chairman at the global design and engineering firm ARUP, and director of its think-tank, the Advanced Geometry Unit. Architects Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Toyo Ito, among others, are indebted to his groundbreaking structural work. Both Balmond and Tillmans have dismantled the very architecture of their genres—Balmond’s genre being architecture itself, and Tillmans’s being the representational genres of portraiture and still life. A dismantling pictured and reformulated in an image essay, in which Tillmans distills an early 21st-century office life so liberated by innovation that it is uninhibited by its cubicles.

Meanwhile, art director BEDA ACHERMANN indulges his fondness for beauty; artist and filmmaker SARAH MORRIS discusses China 2008, Pentagon security, and the fantasy of different times; artist TARYN SIMON questions “photography as a reliable witness” and hashes out her images’ quaking presence; IDEA magazine and T‘s STEFANO TONCHI allow us to glimpse the future of print; artist SPARTACUS CHETWYND presents “Phantasie Fotostudio”; atelier BOW-WOW’s MOMOYO KAIJIMA argues for architecture as research; artist MIKE KELLEY surprises us with formalism;

the BERLIN REVIEW reflects on ten events, projects, and people from the past six months in Berlin; and so much more on 258 pages …

Contributors: David Armstrong, Jens Balzer, Jodie Barnes, Joachim Bessing, Christopher Bollen, Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen, Carson Chan, Tabassom Charaf, Clang, Todd Cole, Nick Currie, Roger Deckker, Aram Dikiciyan, Todd Eberle, Patrik Ervell, Estelle Hanania, Ingeborg Harms, Alex Hawgood, Oliver Helbig, Christian Jankowski, Cynthia Leung, Pierre-Alexandre de Looz, Niklas Maak, Alex Needham, Hans Ulrich Obrist, David Owen, Peter Richter, Tamara Rothstein, Jason Schmidt, Payam Sharifi, Hedi Slimane, Esthacus Teichwynd, Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Lukas Wassmann, Brigitte Werneburg, Paul Wetherell