Sticky Business. The temptation of sugar in art.

Heavenly or hellish: sugar has a special meaning to all of us. Some use the sweetener when celebrating important events. Others regard sugar as the white poison, the major enemy of health. For our great exhibition Sticky Business – The Temptation of Sugar in Art in the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, food designer and guest curator Marije Vogelzang invited some twenty artists from this country and abroad who shine a new light on this social issue. Feast your eyes on a landscape of sweets of several metres high by Pip & Pop, experience how the coke machine by Helmut Smits can be food for thought or lick Joseph Marr's women's statues. Take a completely different view of sugar – a sweet and bitter view, perhaps.

For or against sugar  
What strikes me is that artists are not for or against sugar, says guest curator Marije Vogelzang. Head of the Food Non Food Department of the Design Academy Eindhoven, Vogelzang has developed into an international food designer in recent years. It is a title she thought up herself for work that was until then done nowhere on this planet. For Sticky Business she has selected artists who draw their inspiration from food. Vogelzang herself is also represented, with a swarm of sugar guns.
Marije Vogelzang met suikerlolly. Fotografie Thomas Pelgrom
Marije Vogelzang met suikerlolly. Fotografie Thomas Pelgrom
Sometimes their work is flippant, like that of Bompas & Parr. This British duo filmed the latest party trend called sploshing, a remarkable pastime where people are taking place in a cake, naked. Others deal with major issues that are attached to sugar, such as corruption, slavery and food addiction. In many places there is a smell of sweets, chocolate and bee wax. And of coke, fanta, liquorice and raspberry.
Bompass  Parr Cake Holes still verkleind
Bompas & Parr, Cake Holes, 2016, still. Fotografie: Jo Duck
Licking art
It is given off by the women's statues of the Australian Joseph Marr. By licking them, you transform his work in the course of the exhibition. This applies to more of the displayed works. The sugar painting by the Swiss Jonas Etter gradually perishes because the burnt sugar trickles on the floor. The bee wax stalagmites by Driessens & Verstappen are growing, by contrast, thanks to a dropper at the ceiling.  
 Joseph Marr Vanitas - Cola 2016 3
 Joseph Marr, Vanitas - Cola, 2016
Briton Roland Hicks reveals an inconvenient side by painting chewing gum under your shoe: sticky business indeed. The political side of Sticky Business is represented by Helmut Smits, who destils water from coke. This way the artist from Rotterdam calls attention to the bizarre fact that in some places on the globe coke is more readily available than water. During the exhibition the installation will be running at certain pre-announced times.     
Pip  Pop We miss you magic land Childrens Art Centre GoMA  Brisbane Australia- 2011
Pip & Pop, We miss you magic land!, Children's Art Centre, GoMA  Brisbane, Australia 2011
Toilet paper
The Italian photographer Dan Bannino dresses his photographs with a kind of Old Master sauce and makes still lifes with special diet food of celebrities. What catches the eye is the pink toilet paper. Singer Beyoncé would probably swear by it: a sheet a day keeps your hunger away. In our cinema space you can watch a video of L.A. Raeven, the twin sisters who use their skinny bodies for their performances. Elsewhere you can see the feeders, people who get (sexual) pleasure out of feeding or being fed.
Beyoncé Knowles  Master cleanse diet 2014-2017  Dan Bannino
Dan Baninino, Beyoncé Knowles – Master cleanse diet, 2014-2017
Other cultures  
At this exhibition you also get to know everything about sugar and sweets in different cultures. Worshippers in some Mexican churches, for example, drink a lot of coke as burping is said to free the Holy Spirit. In this country a peppermint helped people make it through a Protestant service. But chocolate cigarettes were removed from the shelves, as they were thought to tempt people into smoking.
Sugar as a material
In one of the museum rooms students of the Design Academy Eindhoven are attending workshops, creating works with sugar. Just try to think of the stuff as a material, not as food. And after the exhibition visitors can have their confession heard in the Museum's former chapel. How do you relate to food? Do you have something sticking in your throat that you want to share? Something else on your chest, perhaps?       
Fringe programming
There are also a large number of fringe events, such as children's workshops, dishes from different cultures, lectures and videos. Every Tuesday, Health Information officials provide information by preparing tasty and wholesome snacks from various cultures. And visitors can also try their hand at making chocolates. Visit the website to see what's on.    


Dan Bannino, Noraly Bever, Djonga Bismar, Boris van Berkum, Katja Bjørn, Martijntje Cornelia, Karel Doing, Jonas Etter, Van Brummelen & De Haan, Roland Hicks, John Isaacs, Mubuku Kipala's, Joseph Mar, Bompas & Parr, Pip & Pop, L.A. Raeven, Studio Lernert & Sander, Johanna Schmeer, Helmut Smits, Zineb Sedira, Domenico Tedone, Caro Verbeek, Driessens & Verstappen, Marije Vogelzang, Uli Westphal, Kollektiv Plus Zwei.



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