Video Exhibitions

Brownie Muffins

Watch Video (click link): zmccauley_commonkitchen_brownie_outsidegallery_720_super_small_CLIPCHAMP_keep.mp4

On view: 06-Jun-2017 01-Jan-2099


The Outside Gallery is teaming up with the Masur to show support! Here is a message from the Masur:
We are currently in the process of turning the museum, located at 1400 South Grand Street, into a conservation lab. Come visit us over the summer and learn about art conservation. In July we are suspending our regular exhibition schedule for several months. In order to provide you with new and exciting art experiences, we are taking our exhibitions out into the community. If you are reading this, you are seeing one of our awesome ALTERNATIVE EXHIBITIONS. Don’t forget about us, we are still doing great things. We look forward to sharing more details related to how we are overcoming this institutional challenge. 
So far our insurance claim process is going well, but we are accepting donations to assist with our ongoing exhibitions/public art initiative. Donate online at Donations to the Masur Museum of Art are collected by the Twin City Art Foundation, a 501(c)3.

The name Outside Gallery was initially meant as a literal kind of label, but it quickly became something of a broader metaphor. We do things differently, and, for better or worse, operate outside of many norms. We are expanding our “normal,” to include online content. Whether our exhibitions are on the wall of a warehouse or on Facebook and Instagram, they are meant to be visually satisfying and not easily labeled as a specific kind of art. While we are generally pragmatic, we don’t want to limit how we think about art, and we want to give artists more agency. Enjoy.

Zachary McCauley Texas, 2017 
CKEP06 – Brownie Muffins, from the Common Kitchen Series
HD video, family notes, church recipe books, Google

McCauley is interested in veganizing family recipes, as well as recipes from church cookbooks and others found online. For him, it is an interesting process in terms of thinking about generational shifts and how ideas are handed down within a family or tradition. Traditions are more fluid than they are given credit for because people’s judgment and agency impose new values upon them as time passes. And so McCauley’s veganism is implanted in traditions he finds meaningful. This is not an utter rejection of the past, but a new way to embrace it and discuss topics that may be of ontological, ecological, and ethical importance in the future.

Each episode of McCauley’s Common Kitchen is a single example of this process. Few Americans would reject brownies, and as a result the brownie is a perfect candidate for veganization. The proof is in the pudding, or the brownie so to speak. CKEP06 – Brownie Muffins features intimate, close-cropped camera angles that depict McCauley’s creative process. The closeness of the camera is a parallel for the intimacy of passing along an old family recipe, even if there is a certain detachment inherent in sharing the recipe in a video that does not feature McCauley’s face. Like most processes, it is imperfect and more complex than it first seems. With additional consideration, the format is a perfect foil to resist Rockwellian idealization of culinary traditions.

McCauley acknowledges the importance of passing communal knowledge along to others while illustrating the process. Among the implied audiences of his videos are Southerners who use church cookbooks. This particular group has a reputation, perhaps underserved, perhaps not, for eschewing veganizing recipes. Common Kitchen speaks to his yearning to combine multiple traditions, even if it is a bit awkward or unseemly. For example McCauley’s recipe is longer than the license free music he uses and it ends part way through Brownie Muffins before it starts up again. There are also numerous and subtle jump cuts throughout his projects. If a shot is not quite right, he merely starts over as expeditiously as possible. The way he conveys a recipe feels positive and pragmatic. Make some vegan brownies with people you care about. Discover whether the recipe is any good, and consider the possible merits of veganism. *

*Full disclosure, the author is not a vegan, but will try this recipe shortly.