© 2019 by Gabriella Willenz​

COMBAT READY PANTRY 

Combat Ready Pantry, maple, plywood, hinges, metal shelving, preserved-food products, Installation view, 36''x76''x18'', 2018 

In her book, Combat Ready Kitchen, Anastacia Marx de Salcedo demonstrates how military food research and development (R&D) at The US Army Natick Soldier Systems Centre changed what Americans, or people around the world for that matter, eat. This pantry, inspired by de Salcedo's research, is a hybrid between an old and bent (found) institutional shelving and handmade (by myself) middle-class domestic cabinet doors. The shelves are stacked with commercial products which are all based on US military food technology (powder cheese and milk, canned food, pre-made meals etc.). These technologies were shared with the consumer market also to the advantage of the US military: supermarkets themselves, with the vast amount and verity of long-lasting products, function as national reserves for a time of crises and the companies that manufacture, upon need, can become ration suppliers. I was interested in considering the deep mutual reliance between the civilian and the military realms and the degree to which citizens are implicated in the nation-state border and sovereignty ideologies.