Eva Weaver, The Bread of Those Years

Review in Issue 20-4 | Winter 2008

A woman burdened with suitcases makes her way across a floor strewn with stepping-stones of bread, as we watch the migration from one culture to another via the ‘staff of life’ mapped out from an eclectic collection of loaves.

After crossing a crazy paving of German ryes and sourdoughs, our protagonist reaches the stark choice of English brown or white. Reminiscences of arriving in England are punctuated by the toasting of her former tracks. Footprints remain embedded in the dough as a silver toaster periodically pings up the leitmotif of a human foot branded onto toast, up into the air.

The suitcases open up, the past is liberated, and questions are asked. Like Proust’s madeleine, the medium of bread becomes a conduit to a personal and universal past, and the past opens up conflicts of history, of cultures, of identity. ‘What,’ she asks, ‘do you really think about Germans?’

As she pulls on an outfit of lederhosen, Heidi wig, and leather boots, a film plays out on the back wall of a visit to her home town of Nuremberg where in the same outfit, she visits the famous market and the sites of the Nuremberg rallies. Seen in its original context the absurdity of stereotype is thrown into relief.

This moving, provoking and often humorous performance piece asks questions of our place in history that the preceding generation sometimes prefer not to answer. The motif of bread, in all its richness, proves to be an apt departure for the still unresolved narratives of our pre- and post-war homelands.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2008

This article in the magazine

Issue 20-4
p. 37