/3/ Strawberry tale

November 11, 2014

strawberry jam

Few words about inconspicuous container of the ambiguous storage nature-jar of strawberry jam. In the polish movie “Seksmisja” where my post human landscape is located we watch the scene where the young woman working for the department of archeology is having an informal meeting with the old lady. We easily assume that the elder woman is the only one at that age in the community of young post human women of the perfectly maintained body resistant to the process of ageing. She comes from the past. Being very tight-lipped she is immediately shifting her behavior when the young woman is taking out the old-fashioned glass jar of the strawberry jam, which according to the plot of a movie, is an obvious symbol and relict of the previous epoch. Firstly, it is reminder of the traditional order, widely spread in polish households until now, where preparing and storing food has been always very female task. Its “feminine” character can be also certified according to the Lewis Mumford [1] who implies that occupations like cooking or brewing connected with the processes of growth, decay or preservation, has been always considered as female. As the inherent attributes of this processes things like bowls, pots, bins can be pointed out. Therefore the strawberry jam brings the old lady to the times of her youth – to the pre post human times. The jar occurs not only to be the container protecting the physical substance inside it, but it appears as the container of the memories, experiences and knowledge about times that passed away. She is starting to taste the jam recognizing acidity of the genuine fruits not existing in the post human reality, where no food is grown naturally. Quickly after that she is beginning to tell the stories about men – extinct sex in the post human reality depicted in the movie. Opening the jar of jam she is bringing up the tale about history, gender roles, sentiments, nostalgia and generation differences.

One might ask what is the point of trying to decide whether the containers are more feminine or masculine and whether it’s even possible to fairly do it. But maybe it is a matter of how we position this containers on the timeline-seems that the old-school jar of jam perfectly reflects its roots and the meaning when it is clearly said from which times it comes from. Maybe modern containers are losing its gender since gender differences are getting more and more blurred….

[1] Lewis Mumford , Technics and Human Development, 1966

 

KB

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