The waffle looks delicious. It’s golden brown with a few squiggles of chocolate, a dollop of whipped cream, and the lightest dusting of powdered sugar. And then I remember. It’s full of a lifetime of farts from whomever discarded it. Because in a past life, before it was presented here on the street, this perfect waffle was a dirty old mattress.
This is Eat Me, one scene in the 12-part series of street sculptures by artist Lor-K, recently highlighted by fubiz. She travels through Paris with a craft kit full of cutting implements, spray paint, sewing equipment, and of course, tape. “Depending on the location and the inspiration I get from it, I then decide what meal I’m going to cook,” she says. “I prepare my recipe on location.”
Her recipe generally starts with an old mattress. Then over the course of two to six hours, she guts it like a giant fish, turning its entrails into giant, delectable creations like cake, sushi, and an egg-in-the-hole (which is basically the British equivalent to the Egg McMuffin).
When I ask her if the job is smelly, or sticky, or if she’s ever encountered source material that was generally more noxious than anticipated, she demurs. “I do not pay attention to that stuff,” she says. “However dirty, I love when waste reflects the life of a city. I don’t find it dirty, our waste is a simple reflection of our lives.”
Surprisingly, no one gives Lor-K a hard time for digging through their discarded items, let alone spending several hours cutting it up and repurposing the stuff. People generally ignore her or peek curiously. The final objects, however, get a lot of attention before they meet their fate–whether that’s by a garbage man or art collector, Lor-K has no concern or stake. Her audience sees the street as their gallery where the trash is the art.
“As with all my projects, my main goal is to attract the attention of passersby on the waste littering the sidewalks of our cities,” she says. “I wish to highlight their potential.”
All Photos: via Lor-K