13.07 - 11.09. 2020


At first glance, Marina Genova's Here the Food Never Spoils appears to be a Pronkstilleven (Dutch for 'sumptuous' still life); a style of still life painting popular in the Dutch Republic of the 17th century that is characterized by its overflowing displays of exotic fruit and other imported products. Under the influence of Dutch Calvinism, these still lifes were intended to remind the viewer of the meaninglessness of earthly wealth and the fleetingness of our life, encouraging us to keep our eye on more eternal values.

Genova's still life is filled with fruit from South America, as exotic to us now as the lemons and olives from across the Mediterranean were in Northern Europe of the 17th century, but she has made slight modifications that turn this still life inside out.

Genova swapped the traditional peeled lemon, its combination of visual beauty and bitter taste a symbol for the deceptive attraction of earthly beauty, by something that is equally visually beautiful but tastes sweet; a peeled orange. Joined by the beautiful star fruit, the colour explosion of the dragon fruit and more sweetness from the pineapple, the Calvinist austerity has been replaced by a Hedonistic celebration of earthly delights.

At the centre of all this richness is the ultimate symbol of our globalized, disposable, fast food pop culture; the omnipresent pizza.

Throughout the video, the sun rises and sets on this still life, emphasizing the passage of time. But the perishable food on display literally never spoils. This Hedonistic celebration will not end.

Created during the Covid-19 pandemic, the work reminds us of A Feast in Time of Plague.

Marina Genova graduated Stage and Screen Design at the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts, and Digital Arts at the National Academy of Arts, both in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her work has been shown in exhibitions such as Electric Dreams (2019, +359 Gallery, Sofia), The Present (2018, ICA, Sofia), Criticizing the Media (2017, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia), and Toyphilia and Toy Phobia(2016, ICA, Sofia), among others.

In her work, Genova examines the impact of rapidly evolving technology and networks on ideological, economic and political structures, through popular culture and post-modern realities.