Xavier Arenós

Theoretics Of Bread

Fri 20 September, 2019

Theoretics of bread

Nowadays we can purchase an industrially made loaf of bread for less tan 50 cents, but also for more than double the price if its done in the traditional way. Be it one way or another, we don’t know how the wheat have been harvested, transported, grinded, elaborated or kneaded. In the book The Conquest of Bread, published in 1892, Kropotkin proposed the idea of conquering the bread as a way of conquering ourselves. In the olden days the whole process that turned wheat into bread and, as a transubstantiation, bread into body was widely known. Today capitalism has swept away this experience, like many others.

In the well-known verse 3:19 of Genesis: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken”, lies the key of working class struggle. “All the sacrifice and suffering will be rewarded with the return to the Paradise”, was the motto used to keep workers submissive throughout centuries. Then they acquired class consciousness, and through the proletarian dictatorship they could institute their own paradise. Paradoxically work didn’t disappear, but quite the contrary. Without work the workforce lost its raison d’être, its nature and identity. Hence the Stakhodox competition within the USSR or the anarchist morals of the well done work in Spain.

The exhibition Theoretics of bread looks into the mechanisms of self-subjugation in work culture, into the intersection of religion and politics, the possible links between the ideal and the real, or the relationship among the model and the copy.