lecture performance & tasting
supported by Kunstverein Leipzig
The lecture performance Sweet Talking focuses on symptomatic misconceptions between East- and West-Germany after the fall of the wall by looking into records of the supposedly heavily manipulated food production in the GDR whilst offering a marzipan subsitute made according to the 1984 patent to the audience for tasting.
The mixture of almonds, sugar and rosewater assumably originated in Persia and through trade routes made its way to Europe. In order to meet the high demand of industrial food production in the late 1970s food scientists worldwide as well as in Leipzig started to develop a marzipan substitute. The story of the Leipzig based food scientist who was labelled the inventor of the SED* Praliné by a SPIEGEL article published shortly after Germany's reunification builds the starting point of an investigation into the use of food substitutes in the late 1980s in both german states. During the research for the performance all the relevant actors of that story were contacted: the food scientist (who wishes to remain anonymous) was interviewed, as well as the author of the SPIEGEL article, several experts of sweet and diabetic production as well as the German Institute for Food Science and Development Potsdam that used to host the patents relevant for this case in the GDR and still exists as the follow-up institution today.
Historical documents, research material and the ingredients are put on display alike. Vital part of the performance is the tasting of the marzipanlike substitute made of green pea flour, fat, sugar and added flavor that was developed during the 1980s in Leipzig by the audience.
*SED - ruling party in power in the German Democratic Republic for over 40 years
Photography: Andreas Enrico Grunert