The Media Kitchen

The influence of pop-culture and sitcoms led to kitchens becoming more than just a place to cook. They have become socialised with the addition of communal islands, allowing the chef to interact with diners whilst cooking.

A clip edited from the Brady Bunch to highlight the sexist attitudes towards women and kitchens.

The Cosby Show

In the Cosby show, the traditional female kitchen space became the completely liberated public space that was the kitchen of the Huxtables, and there was no maid to usurp it, either. While the TV kitchen gave the actors something to do during scenes of often unrelated dialogue, we have brought these scenarios into our homes. Cooking has become less of a solitary task and is an activity that occurs in the background of the main event happening within the “kitchen”. It is not so much the cooking facilities that is the centre of focus in sitcoms, but the kitchen table. Here we see actors preparing food while seated among friends and family around the table, instead of using the worktop surface provided for such an activity. This makes cooking and kitchen activities a more social event than the original fitted design imagined.

Cosby Show, 1984-1992

Jeanne Dielman

Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, depicts the daily routine of a middle-aged widow. Akerman’s film is iconic for how it equates the banal chores with the impending doom and viscous murder performed by the widow. This movie experiment is an extremely compelling illustration of the character’s life as a result of its honesty and clarity.

“When she bangs the glass on the table and you think the milk might spill, that’s as dramatic as the murder.” 

Chantal Akerman
Jeanne Dielman by Chantal Akerman, 1976