Katayoun Amjadi

DIY: Homemaking

Brick- Break- Bread, 2019
32” x 16’ x 30”
multimedia installation at South Dakota Museum of Art
repurposed pallet wood, cast iron wheels, construction bricks, handmade bricks with bread mortar

Brick – Break – Bread is a reflection on the two widely used English and Farsi idiomatic expressions: “breaking bread” & “turning someone’s bread to brick”. While the former is an affirmation of trust and conviviality between friends or strangers, the latter speaks about mistrust and is spoken in response to a perceived threat or barrier to one’s economic security or personal well-being. In both cases bread is seen as essential to life, indeed as the staff of life.  Brick, barrow, bread; pallet wood, wheel and ceramics; singular objects gathered as a testament to the embodied labor of home building and home making. Are these the component parts of a wall of division or a home of solidarity, the barrier of otherness or the refuge of family? 

To break bread is to share the body, our body, in an act of solidarity and communion, and to share the body implies a cultural ecology of interdependence. As the yeast bread rises in the fissures binding bricks or fracturing dreams, the question here is whether a common culture in bread and body, neither the singularity of mine nor the otherness of yours, can rise above and break the wall between us?

Brick- Breads, 2019
hand-packed earthenware clay bricks, bread dough mortar