“Oven of Straw”
In this installation in the UCCA Nave, Hong Kong-based artist/architect duo MAP OFFICE will focus on the historical, fundamental importance of straw. “Oven of Straw” is a space paradoxically made of the very stuff it is intended to consume—a portrayal of an agricultural product crucial to society and economy yet highly vulnerable to fire and drought. With an imposing façade resembling a bank and including a two-channel video installation that gathers references to wheat in periodic cinema pieces, the installation focuses on the tenuous relationship between capitalism and farmers, looking at wheat as the original Marxian commodity. Originally displayed in Ukraine, a country with an economy largely based in agriculture, the installation was conceived for the first Kiev Biennial in 2012.